Quarterly Conversations – 2024 Market Outlook

Featuring: P.J. Gardner

In this video, AGW Principal & Co-Founder P.J. Gardner, CFA®, CFP®, advises on volatility, reserves, diversification, and inflation, emphasizing strategic investing amidst economic uncertainties and market fluctuations. This conversation was recorded on February 1, 2024, and reflects information available at that time.

Audio Only


  • Market Optimism and Fed Rate Cuts: A general consensus emerged expecting the Federal Reserve to implement several rate cuts in 2024, aiming for economic growth in a “Goldilocks” scenario. Despite stretched valuations and expectations for strong earnings, AGW Capital Advisors advises a healthy skepticism due to widespread speculative behavior and the high cost of capital.
  • Geopolitical Risks: The firm underscores the significance of geopolitical tensions, including concerns about the U.S. political landscape, the Middle East, Ukraine, and U.S.-China relations. It cautions against complacency, suggesting that these risks are not fully accounted for in current market valuations.
  • Inflation and Economic Growth: The discussion also touches on the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation with a restrictive policy, challenging the mantra “don’t fight the Fed.” AGW suggests that despite hopes for rate cuts, the reality of a tight monetary policy could restrict economic expansion more than markets anticipate.

Full Transcript

Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you for joining us. Today, we’ll share our outlook for 2024, starting with a review of 2023’s significant events, particularly towards the year’s end.

The stock market performed well, with notable movements in the bond market and Treasury yields reaching 5%. A dramatic shift occurred on October 28 when Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve announced interest rate hikes, sparking a rally in stock prices and bond markets.

Most economists and strategists predict several Fed rate cuts, expecting a balanced economic growth. However, with high valuations and expectations of strong earnings and lower bond yields, we must question what could potentially go wrong.

Investor psychology and speculative behavior, especially in tech stocks and cryptocurrencies, suggest a market overly responsive to Federal Reserve statements. We contrast this with the restrained capital conditions of 2022, advocating for a more cautious and realistic market outlook.

Referencing John Templeton, we examine market cycles from pessimism to euphoria, suggesting that current complacency may overlook underlying risks. We express concern over persistent market optimism despite potential disappointments from anticipated Fed rate cuts.”

Further, we highlight geopolitical uncertainties, including Ian Bremmer’s unease about 2024, particularly the U.S. political landscape and international tensions. These factors, from the Middle East conflicts to U.S.-China relations, present significant risks not adequately factored into market valuations.

In summary, our discussion emphasizes skepticism towards prevailing market optimism, advising attention to speculative trends, the real cost of capital, and geopolitical risks that could impact the economic and financial landscape in 2024.

AGW Capital Advisors is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered specific investment advice, does not take into consideration your specific situation, and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Be sure to consult with a member of the AGW team, another qualified financial adviser, and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein.