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Market Pulse

April 2024: The Stock Market Championship Team?

March offered another boost to markets and capped a solid first quarter. The Dow climbed 2.1%, while the S&P 500 moved higher by 3.1%. The Nasdaq was the laggard, adding 1.8%. It was the fifth straight winning month for all
three major averages. For the quarter, the Dow advanced 5.6%, the S&P 500 added 10.2% and the Nasdaq ended the quarter with a 9.1% rise.

The stock market rally this year has defied many predictions. With 2023 ending on such a high note, many people expected the markets to take a more muted approach. But the artificial intelligence craze combined with robust growth has continued to prop up returns.

To add more fuel to the fire, the S&P 500 has managed to rise 8% or more in the first quarter 16 times since 1950. Only once, back in 1987 (the year of the Black Monday crash) did the index lose ground over the remainder of the year. In the other 15 years, the index gained an average of 9.7% during the subsequent three quarters.

Looking ahead, we feel markets can still head higher, but not without a few bumps. It’s like comparing the current market to a championship team. A team may be favored to win it all and have great players and a good coach. Yet it doesn’t mean they will go undefeated or increase their margin of victory each game. Whether it’s 1) inclement weather, 2) fatigue from consecutive road games, or 3) an injury to a key player, challenges are inevitable.

For markets, the inclement factor is inflation and when the Federal Reserve may raise rates. So far, inflation and related factors like economic growth, low unemployment, and consumer confidence have moved expectations from six rate cuts this year down to three. Some recent revisions are even calling for no cuts at all this year. Fact is, the Fed has said
they will remain data dependent, which means it’s a wait and see game as economic data comes in. Therefore, it is important to us to remain nimble until the Fed takes real action.

The fatigue that could cause markets to underperform would be corporate earnings. If earnings fail to accelerate, that could be the negative news that turns the market sour. However, if earnings hold up, stronger growth from more industries is a recipe for a broadening of the rally. But here’s the catch, stronger earnings would mean fewer rate
cuts. Which leaves investors torn between wanting a strong economy to support further corporate earnings growth and wanting a weaker jobs and consumer spending economy so the Federal Reserve could begin cutting interest rates.

The key injury would be tied to artificial intelligence. One aspect of the AI craze that could take the steam out of a record-breaking season is oversight and regulation. Several lawsuits and alliances have already been filed and formed to protect copyrights and the role of human innovation, but they will likely take months, if not years to play out. One
key injury wouldn’t necessarily derail the entire market, but any combination of higher inflation, lower earnings, fewer rate-cuts and a negative blow to AI, could cause some concern for stock market fans and might require a near-term adjustment to the playbook.

Therefore, we will continue to make allocation adjustments, particularly by adding fixed income elements while rates remain high, and keep our focus on assembling a winning season with strong veteran companies as well as a few high-flying rookies.

Misheard Song Lyrics

Music has a unique power to captivate us, evoke emotions, and create memories that last a lifetime. However, sometimes the words we sing along to aren’t quite what we think they are. Misheard lyrics, also known as mondegreens, have amused and baffled listeners for generations. From classic rock anthems to modern pop hits, there are countless examples of misunderstood phrases that have taken on a life of their own.

In Queen’s, “Bohemian Rhapsody” the lyric is often sung as: “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?” The actual lyric: “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the BANDANGO?” While many believe the word is “Fandango,” it’s actually “BANDANGO,” a term meaning a “social gathering for music and dancing.”

In Creedence Clearwater Revival’s song “Bad Moon Rising” the misheard lyric goes like this: “There’s a bathroom on the right” Yet the actual lyric is: “There’s a bad moon on the rise” This misinterpretation turns a classic rock warning of impending danger into a humorous suggestion for restroom facilities.

Yes, even Swifties can get lyrics wrong. In Taylor Swift’s song, “Blank Space” the misheard lyric is: “Got a lot of Starbucks lovers” while the actual lyric is: “Got a long list of ex-lovers” In this case, the misheard lyric creates an amusing image of Taylor Swift breaking up with coffee shops rather than her list of former partners.

While there are an endless array of so-called “mondegreens,” at the root cause of the issue is simply not questioning or evaluating every aspect of every song you like to sing out loud. You just go along with what you think you hear. Which of course, causes very little harm. For some, singing the wrong lyrics in your car, around friends, or at karaoke night may be a little embarrassing, but most likely just lead to a good laugh.

However, when it comes to planning and making a transition into retirement, simply going along with what you think you heard can be more detrimental. For example, many people feel the main chorus of a good retirement plan is to have a written financial plan to help replace your income… and that the right players in the band or asset allocation
will ensure a smooth transition from work life to home life. But that’s only a small piece of the retirement tune.

For a chart-toping retirement, individuals and couples need concrete, written plans for how they will replace their work identity, fill their time, stay relevant and connected, as well as keep mentally and physically active. This combined with a written financial plan is the full sheet music you and your band need to hit the road and pack stadiums.

Whether it’s the retirement planning process or misheard lyrics, they can both remind us of the fascinating and sometimes unpredictable nature of assumptions and perception. Therefore, consider taking some advice from another misheard lyric by the Eurhythmics, “Sweet dreams aren’t made of cheese… Sweet dreams are made of this… (not these)… Who am I to disagree?

In Case You Missed It – New Employee Announcement

Meet our new employee, Ceresse (Sir-Reese) Lindberg. She comes to us with over 20 years of operational and
office management experience. She has a MBA from Baker College with an undergraduate degree in
Computer Systems from The University of Detroit Mercy. She has spent time with major employers like IBM,
Dell, and Ascension however, has developed a niche and passion for organizing, streamlining, and improving client relationships with smaller, local firms.

Her role as our office manager and account specialist, will have her taking the lead on distribution requests, account opening and transfer paperwork, document requests, and other general business inquiries. This will help free me up to better serve all of you.

Ceresse is originally from the east side of Michigan and now resides in Milford with her husband Scott of 19 years. Together they enjoy collecting classic cars and competing in Spartan races across the country. They recently
welcomed a new puppy into their life named Tinsley.

We are excited to have her as part of our team!

She can be reached at:
or 888-267-1138


  1. Which Disney princess is inspired by a real person? Click for Answer
  2. What word is spelled incorrectly in every single dictionary? Click for Answer
  3. If a plane crashes on the border between the United States and Canada, where do they bury the survivors? Click for Answer

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