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As we reflect on the economic and stock market landscape of 2023, it's evident that the year was marked by unexpected gains, defying the predictions of market forecasters. Contrary to initial projections of a lower market, we witnessed a remarkable upswing, with the stock market posting an impressive gain. This serves as a reminder that timing the market is a challenging endeavor, and last year's surprising performance underscores the importance of a diversified and long-term investment strategy.
Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate a certain level of volatility, influenced in part by the upcoming election year and the significant gains realized in the previous year. While it's challenging to precisely predict market movements, our outlook suggests that we may experience mid to upper single digit returns.
In this environment, we believe as the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates that sectors traditionally considered interest rate-sensitive should perform well. Examples of such sectors include Health Care, Consumer Staples, Utilities, Real Estate, and Bonds. These sectors have historically demonstrated resilience during periods of market uncertainty and interest rate cuts.
As we navigate the potential challenges and opportunities in the coming year, we remain committed to closely monitoring market conditions and adjusting our strategies to align with your financial goals.
While 2023 was nothing short of news headlines when it came to the Ohio pension systems, the reality is that all the Ohio pension systems have good funding ratios. The exception here is OP&F, who maintains the lowest ratio.
STRS continues to face a PR problem while OPERS lays low, and OP&F goes to the public asking for more money in 2024.
The most asked question by STRS Ohio members in 2023 was….Should I worry about my STRS Ohio pension benefits. My answer was a resounding NO. The STRS OH pension has an 81.3% funding ratio. When I left STRS in 07' STRS had a much lower funding ratio. STRS has a PR problem, not a funding problem. Stay focused on the long game and ignore the noise.
OPERS clients aren't asking me about the stability of their pension, however they were the group that wanted out the most in 2023!
I suspect this was due to in-office mandates. Regardless, many OPERS members faced the prospect of when to retire, which payment plan to select or should they take a PLOP.
In addition, the OPERS health care process within via benefits was difficult for some to navigate.
The biggest concern we have for OP&F is whether or not HB 513 Will pass, which will increase the contribution rate to the pension system. OP&F's current funding ratio will continue to decrease, jeopardizing the pension payments and benefits offered to members.
Most OP&F members asked us about healthcare in 2023. When I retire from OP&F, become reemployed and have access to healthcare coverage through my new employer, do I still receive my healthcare stipend?
Unfortunately, you are not eligible to receive the OP&F healthcare stipend if health coverage is available with your new employer. When you decide to quit your post-retirement job, it will be considered a qualifying event resulting in eligibility for OP&F healthcare stipend. Don't forget to sign up for OP&F healthcare within 60 days of losing coverage.
The presidential election year always brings surprises. Know what to expect. As we enter a new presidential election year, it is essential to appreciate the enduring resilience of the market, irrespective of the political landscape. Throughout history, the market has demonstrated its ability to adjust and overcome challenges, regardless of the election outcome.
In the spirit of keeping, you in the tech loop, we continue to highlight numerous resources on our website tailored for Ohio Public Employees as well as our non-public pension clients.
Excitingly, our user-friendly new website is set to launch in Q1 – 2024, promising enhanced features and accessibility.
We are thrilled to share an inspiring success story from one of our clients, Chuck Paros, who recently embarked on a sustainable journey by integrating a 4.8 kW "Solar Garage" into their home in Columbus. Chuck is an architect that specializes in retro fitting homes for less energy consumption. He and his wife Laura are enjoying the results of this recent project, which are nothing short of remarkable!
In 2023, Chuck's solar investment yielded an impressive 5.72 MWh of clean energy. Despite falling slightly below the estimated 6 MWh/yr, the minor deviation can be attributed to the unique challenges posed by the Canadian wildfires' smoky haze during the peak daylighting months of June and July.
There is a science to spending money – how to find a bargain, how to make a budget, things like that.
But there’s also an art to spending. A part that can’t be quantified and varies person to person.
How people invest their money tends to be hidden from view. But how they spend is far more visible, so what it shows about who you are can be even more insightful.
Everyone’s different, which is part of what makes this topic fascinating. There are no black-and-white rules.
Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving--every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you.
The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change.
The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera Advisors LLC and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sellany securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sourcesbelieved to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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