Anxious Investors, Unhappy Americans


View this email in your browser


(Keeping you up-to-date since 2006)

If this email was forwarded to you, you can get it emailed directly to you.  Just click below.


March 26, 2023

FED RAISES RATES AGAIN:  Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by another 0.25%, which now brings it up to a 5.0%, the highest since October 2007.  There was no indication in its announcement as to whether future hikes would continue.  That is significant because past announcements have included such language.  The Fed said that the “U.S. banking system is sound and resilient.”

STOCKS RISE AS INVESTORS KEEP THEIR EYES ON BANKS:  Stock prices remained volatile last week, but ended up positive despite lingering fears about the health of banking.  Banks stocks were mixed.  Some larger bank stocks decreased, but the regional banks seemed to be bouncing off their selloff bottoms and rose for the week.  A big concern is that banks tighten credit to keep themselves healthy, and away from the scrutiny of heightened regulatory attention. That leads to slower economic activity which of course raises recession fears.  “Safer” stocks such as utilities, real estate and consumer staples led the way with the sharpest increases, and a lot of money poured into U.S. Treasuries.  These are signs of nervous investors.

LONGER-TERM PERFORMANCE:  Below are the annualized three-year and five-year numbers for these same indices.  

CORPORATE BONDS:  When investors are worried, they throw their money into U.S. government bonds. This especially true when interest rates are attractive.  The attraction of government bonds (meaning investors were averse to risk) was so strong this past week that for the first time in about ten years, no new high grade bond sales from investment-grade rated companies were issued.  

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE:  Valuations of office and retail properties have been depressed since the pandemic due to lower occupancy and concerns about how people work and shop.  Lending in this sector is concentrated in small and mid-sized banks, where pressure on deposits and liquidity has been intense.  These banks are likely to be more cautious in their commitments to commercial real estate projects in the near future.

THE RISING COST OF BUYING A NEW HOME:  Below you can see what it costs to buy a new home in the U.S. over the last 20 years.  In 2002, over 80% of new homes in the U.S. sold for under $300,000.  That category, although it bumped up last month, is disappearing.

ONE GROUP OF PHONE SCAMMERS CAUGHT:  Thai police, working with U.S. agents busted an international gang that operated call centers to prey on older Americans.  The gang deceived their victims to wire them money to the tune of $87 million.  21 suspects were arrested including five Indian nationals and 15 Thais.  The scammers claimed to be law enforcement agents investigating money laundering and told the victims their funds were suspicious and needed to be transferred to them.  Victims included doctors, professors, dentists and business people.  Obviously, this is not the only operating gang out there, and other gangs use other ruses.  Be careful!

WORRY, BE UNHAPPY:  I love the song from Bobby McFerrin called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  Unfortunately, more Americans feel the opposite.  The Wall Street Journal has been polling Americans for about 50 years on a variety of topics, including their happiness.  A question asked in their poll is: “Taken all together, how would you say things are these days–would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?”  Just 12% said they are “very happy,” the lowest ever.  30% said they are “not too happy,” the highest number on record.  Despite the current economic uncertainty, the U.S. remains one of richest, if not the richest country in the world (depending on how you measure).  We are most probably living in the richest time in the history of the world.  The “record” amount of unhappiness in the U.S. must be rooted in factors unrelated to money. If you are anxious about your money, there may be real economic, monetary or budgetary reasons for that anxiety.  But it may benefit you to dig deeper to see if their are non-monetary issues causing the unhappiness.

BRRR!:  I got a new medal, completing the First State Half Marathon on Saturday.  It didn’t seem too bad when it started, but then the rain came.  The rain was significantly colder than the air and my ungloved hands got a tad cold.  It took a long, hot shower to stop the shivering after this one.

Have a great week!

Our mission is to help you see the objective, find the path, and navigate past the obstacles to a more prosperous future.

Douglas R. MacGray, J.D., C.F.P. ®
Stonecrop Wealth Advisors, LLC

Direct | Cell | Fax
(610) 628 4545

“The smarter you are, the better equipped you should be to understand that well-being comes from faith, family, friendship, and work that serves others.  Your intelligence is more likely to bring you happiness if you put it to use by chasing better ways to love and serve others, rather than elbowing others aside and hoarding worldly rewards.”   Arthur Brooks

“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.”  Proverbs 10:8


(c) 2023 A.D., Stonecrop Wealth Advisors, LLC, All Rights Reserved

*S&P 500: This is a measure of the performance of the 500 largest companies in the United States, and it a common index to track the performance of U.S. equity markets, especially the large cap markets. 
*MSCI All Country World Index X US: This is a broad measure of the performance of worldwide equity markets excluding the United States. 
*Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate: This is a measure of the U.S. bond markets. 

Investment advisory services offered through Stonecrop Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 



Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.



    Doug MacGray

  • DATE

    March 27, 2023


Ready to find out how Stonecrop Wealth Advisors can help you?

We’d love to hear about your organization and discuss how our extensive experience advising institutional clients on non-profit investment strategy can help support your mission and objectives.

Related Articles

Advisory services offered through Stonecrop Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply any level of skill or training.

To see a copy of our SEC form CRS, Customer Relationship Summary, please click here. To see our Form ADV, including our Part 2 Disclosure Brochure, please click here. To see a copy of our Privacy Policy, please click here.

Information presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here.

The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the websites provided here, you are leaving this website. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the information provided at these websites.

© Copyright 2021 Stonecrop Wealth Advisors. All Rights Reserved