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Coming off several years of outsized gains in the stock market, investors may be hoping 2022 is like deja vu again.
Don’t count on it. While future performance is impossible to predict with certainty, many financial advisors expect returns will come back down to Earth.
“We have been telling clients to expect a lackluster year in the stock market and in portfolios in general, with lingering elevated inflation, slower economic growth and interest rate hikes,” said certified financial planner Shon Anderson, president and chief wealth strategist for Anderson Financial Strategies in Dayton, Ohio.
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So far this year, the S&P 500 Index — a broad measure of how U.S. companies are faring — has posted a total return (price gains plus dividends) of about 29.2%. That’s on the heels of 18.4% in 2020 and roughly 31.5% in 2019 (and a loss of more than 4% in 2018). Over time, the annual average is about 10%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has a total return so far this year of 21.1%, following 9.72% in 2020 and roughly 25.3% in 2019 (and a loss of 5.6% in 2018). The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite index, meanwhile, has posted a 23.2% gain so far this year, after 44.9% in 2020 and about 36.7% in 2019 (and a loss of 2.84% in 2018).
While 2022 may end with lower returns — i.e., single-digit gains, perhaps — the economy is expected to continue to expand, albeit at a slower pace than earlier in the year. In the third quarter, gross domestic product — which measures all economic activity — grew at an annual pace of 2.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That came on the heels of 6.5% annual growth in the second quarter, and 6.4% in the first quarter.