Imagine if they actually looked at stock prices

If it’s a competition between opinion and price, I will usually defer to price.

I find it incredible how people seem so pessimistic despite the stock market’s incredible resilience over the last year. The story of 2023 is that corporations are really good at maintaining (growing!) profit margins, the US consumer is unstoppable and the economy is not as sensitive to interest rates as the conventional wisdom may have once believed.

That’s it. Those are the broad strokes. Everything else is cocktail party chatter.

There are plenty of reasons to feel trepidation for the coming year. You should be really worried when you can’t come up with any issues of concern. That’s not the case right now. Everyone is aware of the issues. Lots of market watchers are still bracing for worst case scenarios.

In the meantime, imagine if they actually looked at stock prices. If, instead of consuming reams of opinions all day, they simply took a look at the charts. On the new episode of The Compound and Friends, my pals JC Parets and Joe Fahmy put on an absolute master class. They go through chart after chart all pointing to one singular fact: Not only are we in a bull market…that bull market is actually expanding and gaining in strength.

Every major country stock market in Europe is making 52-week or all-time highs right now. The Japanese stock market is trading at a 33-year high. International stocks have joined value stocks and small caps here in the US.

Here’s the MSCI ALl-Country World Ex-US index (total return) headed for all-time highs and a monster breakout:

Most countries have already had a breakout locally. Germany, France, UK, Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Indonesia, the list is endless. Don’t take my word for it - watch us rip through these charts and see for yourself.

If it’s a competition between opinion and price, I will usually defer to price. Opinions get changed by prices all the time. The price isn’t always right, but the price is always the truth about where bets are being laid.

The YouTube episode can be found right here:

Or…you can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc at the link below:

The RWM Portfolio Construction Knit Cap by Carhartt

This year’s Ritholtz Wealth Christmas gift went out late, so we’re calling it a New Year’s gift instead. All Ritholtz employees have the new “Portfolio Construction” knit cap by Carhartt on the way out to them. Our clients whose birthdays fall in the winter months will be receiving these as well.

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a client, this is the time of year! Let’s get 2024 started on the right foot. Certified Financial Planners are standing by to talk.

The Fulton, Serafina

Kris and I tucked ourselves in to the newest Serafina location on 38th and Madison for lunch this week. We had a short amount of time but we don’t compromise on Italian food. It has to be legit. Serafina is legit all over Manhattan. This location opened in March of last year and it’s perfect.

Where else could you walk in at 1:15, grab a high-top table, tell the waitress you have a time constraint and be eating a perfect margherita pie inside of five minutes? With an arugula and shaved parmesan salad on the side?

Nowhere else.

If you see the yellow awning, you know it’s going to hit the spot. Serafina FTW.

I also got a chance to meet an old friend downtown this week in the old South Street Seaport area - one of my favorite neighborhoods in NYC. Celebrity chef / entrepreneur Jean-Georges Vongerichten recently restored the centuries-old (I think?) Tin Building and stuffed it full of modern lunch counters and sit-down restaurants. I thought my reservation was for that building at the Fulton Fish Co (Google screwed this up, not me). It turns out, the Fulton Fish Co was really just a counter service situation and the actual restaurant I was supposed to be at - called The Fulton - was next door in Pier 17.

I called my friend and she was like “WTF Josh?” but we figured it out.

You might have heard of Pier 17 because it’s got an amazing rooftop concert venue that looks directly at the Brooklyn Bridge as it spans across the East River. Well, on the ground floor there are a whole bunch of high-end bars and restaurants. The Fulton is one of them. The place was about half-empty because nobody really works in the Seaport and FiDi, while close, is not close enough when it’s 30 degrees out.

But who needs fellow diners when the food is good and the views are ridiculous?

Below, a deconstructed Maine-style (cold) lobster roll with house-made vinegar-y potato chips. I could have done with more lobster but it tasted amazing.

That’s a toasted hot dog bun under the bibb lettuce, don’t have a panic attack.

Okay, that’s it from me. I hope you have an awesome weekend. Talk soon! - Josh