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First Half Market Review

First Half Market Review

July 18, 2023

Coming into the year we were inundated with predictions of recession and mass layoffs. Remember all the talk about Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon layoffs? 

 Higher yields and increased economic uncertainty caused money managers to believe stocks were unattractive and declare 2023 “The year of the bond.”1 Barron’s reported that market experts were expecting a selloff in the first half of the year.2 

 Over the last six months we experienced a few bank failures and predictions that things were going to get worse. The market sold off swiftly, but briefly.  


So How Did We Do? 


Despite all the concerns, bank failures, and dire predictions, the S&P 500 Index is up over 14% year to date.3 

 And now the tune has changed! Barron’s went from headlining “Be Ready For a Drop” at the beginning of the year to, “This Market Has Legs.” Does it have legs? Will it keep going? Who knows. 


What We Know 


What we know is that historically the market goes up much more often than it goes down. In fact, since 1928 the market has gone up more than 20% in a year more often that it has experienced a calendar year loss (of any degree).4 

 We also know that trying to guess when to get in and out of stocks can have very costly consequences. Missing just a few market rallies can drastically impact your performance. Just think the COVID rally of 2020 and the unexpected positive returns we have had so far this year. 

 So, what do we learn from the first half of 2023? We learn that market experts were once again wrong. We learn that surprises happen - it is impossible to know what will happen nor how the market will respond.  

 And that is why the best investment advice is to have your plan guide your decisions. 


© The Behavioral Finance Network 



  1. BusinessWeek, Jan 11, 2023 
  1. Barron’s, Dec 19, 2022 
  1. Total Return through Jun 27, 2023 
  1. Ben Carlson, Wealth of Common Sense, June 24, 2023