signature wealth strategies market update

March 2022 Market Update

March Madness is in full swing, and unfortunately, I’m not referring to the basketball tournament. I save a number of beginning of the year market forecasts from various analysts, and will occasionally look back on them to grade the analysts’ predictions. As I was looking through some the other day, I decided that it wasn’t very fair to grade the analysts this year. Obviously, an event like the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes a lot of the predictions moot.

Some of the fundamentals still hold true, with consumers and corporations having lots of cash, generally speaking. Unfortunately, a lot of that cash will be spent at gas pumps and grocery stores instead of restaurants and vacations. Consumers are better able to withstand higher prices in 2022 than they have been in past inflationary periods, but higher prices will likely slow the recovery for many retail and service-based companies.

The other wrench being thrown into the economic situation is how the higher price of oil and food will impact the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates. Higher prices should slow down economic growth, so perhaps the Fed might not be as quick to raise short-term interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee is comprised of only a few people, so I think trying to predict their next move is not very constructive. I’d bet, though, that higher food and gas prices are factoring into their decision-making process. This could have the positive impact of keeping interest rates lower for longer. That, in turn, could lead to more economic activity down the road, as well as to higher stock prices.

The other big questions, to me, are “How long will this last?” If Russia eventually overtakes Ukraine, will sanctions continue? Will the world quit buying Russian oil forever? If so, will there be some incentives put in place for domestic oil producers to invest in increasing production? Will other oil-rich countries increase production? There are a lot of variables.

With regard to investments, we took the S&P 500’s break below its 200-day moving average as a change in trend indicator, changing from an expectation for higher stock prices to an expectation of lower prices. Further, when the S&P 500 broke below its January low of 4222, that was a confirmation of the change in trend. We are advising that investors be more cautious than usual and wait for prices to show strength before buying stocks. However, if you have a long investment horizon (more than 3 years), we believe an investor could take advantage of lower prices and “buy the dips,” adding money into stocks on down days.

There are some scenarios, of course, in which this war expands and prolongs. However, I don’t think that is the base case. It will likely end pretty quickly, all things considered, and the U.S. economy will likely be pretty insulated from it. Historically speaking, stock price dips due to war have been good long-term buying opportunities, although each situation is different due to the many other factors that go into stock prices. So, again, for long-term investors, take advantage of the lower prices. If you’re concerned about shorter-term portfolio fluctuations, though, we advise caution.

Charlie Munger, the 98-year-old vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s partner, recently said, “If you’re going to invest in stocks for the long term or real estate, of course there are going to be periods when there’s a lot of agony and other periods when there’s a boom,” the 98-year-old billionaire said. “And I think you just have to learn to live through them.”

Munger cited the poem “If—” by Nobel Prize-winning writer Rudyard Kipling to highlight his point.

“As Kipling said, treat those two imposters just the same,” Munger continued. “You have to deal with daylight and night. Does that bother you very much? No. Sometimes it’s night and sometimes it’s daylight. Sometimes it’s a boom. Sometimes it’s a bust. I believe in doing as well as you can and keep going as long as they let you.” Munger on market swings: ‘As Kipling said, treat those two imposters just the same’ (

As stock investors, we must remember that we cannot control the booms and busts. We must learn to live with them-and ourselves- if we are going to pursue high returns on our money.

April 18 is fast-approaching; that’s the deadline to file your tax return in 2022. That means that if you are going to contribute to an IRA, a Roth-IRA, or a SEP-IRA, you should be preparing to do that. Also, if you’re over 72, take the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your IRAs and qualified plans. You must begin RMDs by April 1 the year after you turn 72. Subsequent distributions must be taken by Dec. 31 each year. That means if you reached 72 during 2021, and you delayed your 2021 initial RMD until April 1, 2022, you still have to take your 2022 RMD before Dec. 31, 2022. For more information, go to

As always, these opinions are mine, and may or may not be the same as those of Raymond James. This is not a solicitation to invest, although we do invite you to review your portfolio with us to see if any changes should be made.
Past performance may not be indicative of future results. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or forecasts will occur. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of capital. Asset allocation and diversification do not guarantee a profit nor protect against loss.
The forgoing is not a recommendation to buy or sell any individual security or any combination of securities. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. The forgoing is not a recommendation to buy or sell any individual security or any combination of securities.
The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Individuals cannot invest directly in any index. Every investor’s situation is unique and you should consider your investment goals, risk tolerance and time horizon before making any investment. Sector investments are companies engaged in business related to a specific sector. They are subject to fierce competition and their products and services may be subject to rapid obsolescence. There are additional risks associated with investing in an individual sector, including limited diversification. Investing in the energy sector involves special risks, including the potential adverse effects of state and federal regulation and may not be suitable for all investors. The companies engaged in the communications and technology industries are subject to fierce competition and their products and services may be subject to rapid obsolescence. Commodities and currencies investing are generally considered speculative because of the significant potential for investment loss. Their markets are likely to be volatile and there may be sharp price fluctuations even during periods when prices overall are rising.
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Scott Mitchell and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professional.
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About Scott Mitchell

AAMS ®, Chief Investment Officer SWG, Senior Wealth Advisor RJFS, Scott is a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University School of Business. He received additional training from the College of Financial Planning and earned the accreditation of Accredited Asset Management Specialist℠ as well as earning the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation.  Scott began his career at Southern National Bank. He then joined his father, Bob Mitchell, at First Union Securities for six years. At Signature, Scott directs investment strategy for the team and oversees the research and management of individual stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Scott lives in Florence with his wife and two children. He is a member and past President of St. Luke Lutheran Church, member and past President of the Florence Rotary Club, and on the board of directors of the Pee Dee Area Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Follow Scott on LinkedIn. Raymond James is not affiliated with any of the above-mentioned organizations.