January 2024 Strategic Journal

Wine & Wisdom Recap by Rebekah Anderson

We kicked off the Holiday season with our Wine & Wisdoms! In Cincinnati, our guests gathered around the tree at Cooper Creek Event Center. Dinner and drinks were enjoyed alongside an insightful discussion led by Josh Smith on the current state of the economy.

Clients played a game of SINGO, where their musical knowledge was put to the test. It was a night full of appreciation and Holiday spirit for everyone who attended!

In Denver, our clients were treated to an ice show at the Gaylord Rockies. It was cold, but nothing to “wine” about! It was a pleasure seeing all of our guests and getting to meet some wonderful new faces as well. Lions and tigers and Strategic Wealth Designers, oh my! To show our appreciation, the Phoenix Zoo hosted our guests for a fun night of dinner and drinks. To keep things merry and BRIGHT, clients spent the rest of the evening exploring the Zoo lights.

Charity Update by Mackenzie Been

We had the opportunity to partner with an organization called Suit Up. “SuitUp increases career readiness for all students through innovative business plan competitions. ”

For many students, this was their first time being invited to sit at the corporate table – to be heard and seen as a CEO. Our Peoria staff members went to Ironwood High School and partnered with teams of students. They were presented with a challenge, and each group worked together to come up with the best solution. At the end, the students pitched their resolution to our staff judges and the winning team received a cash prize!

Congratulations to Team 3 and their idea, Future! Thank you to our volunteers and the students at Ironwood High School for a fun and rewarding day!

Holiday Open Houses at SWD!

In several of our cities, clients joined us for a Holiday Open House. Hosted at our offices, guests enjoyed a night of drinks, hors d’ oeuvres and the opportunity to meet the whole team! At Strategic Wealth Designers, we love any opportunity to show appreciation for our clients and their families. Keep an eye out for our upcoming events!

A Letter From Matthew

Matthew Dicken | CEO Founder

As we begin 2024, we’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on another successful year for Strategic Wealth Designers and our clients, in spite of all the challenges we face in the world today. We are truly grateful to have a tremendous group of investors to work for, and a world-class team dedicated to helping steward our clients through their retirements safely.

At this writing, we are enjoying year-to-date highs in our investment strategies across the board. This is the result of a strong recovery in the market in Q3, but also has much to do with our positioning of clients in non-traditional investments that took advantage of high interest rates, while other investors struggled. For example, our proprietary structured note strategy is a bright spot in clients’ portfolios – every single one of these custom-built investment vehicles has performed tremendously, while taking a fraction of the risk of being directly invested in the market.

In fact, some were deliberately built so that even when the market was down, these notes were able to post a gain. This is just another way in which we have been able to creatively put our clients’ money to work, while keeping in mind our primary objective of keeping retirement portfolios safe and secure.

With rates coming down as soon as next year, we may not use these same types of investments again, but it goes to show you the ingenuity that our team brings to bear for complex market conditions. We will always be looking for the best way to keep you ahead of the curve. Looking forward, we are sticking to an outlook of “Cautiously Optimistic” through the end of 2023 and into Q1 of 2024. While the market has been very thin in recent months, which means heightened risk of volatility and loss, we are starting to see some rotation into various other sectors, which is an encouraging sign of a healthy market from which we can expect further growth.

Could we see another pullback, like we did from July to the end of October? Certainly, but it’s important to remember that such volatility is normal in a healthy Bull Market, and even with headwinds in the market like geopolitical conflict, higher-than-average inflation, potential debt trouble in the commercial real estate sector, etc., there are also many positive forward-looking economic factors to consider for the health of the economy: low unemployment, consistently high consumer spending, new building permits on the rise, manufacturing going up, and the S&P 500 itself as a forward-looking indicator re-achieving all time highs.

We truly appreciate all the patience and trust you have given us over the years, and especially this last year. These have been challenging times, but we are grateful for the opportunity to navigate through them with you. We hope that we have many more years together with you in the future.
Here’s to a bright 2024!

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