What’s New at GPW
The end of the year is traditionally a time of thanksgiving, reflection, and celebration. For us, 2023 has been full of exciting growth as we continue to focus on serving our clients.
Throughout the year we added several new faces to our team. In January, Jerald joined us as Director of our Virtual Family Office. While we continue to grow this area of our business, Jerald’s knowledge and experience with family offices will continue to be invaluable. More recently, we welcomed Carmen as Administrative Assistant and Lisa as Paraplanner. Carmen and Lisa bring a fresh set of eyes and years of experience to our office.
In addition to our team’s growth, GoalVest expanded their team so that they can continue to provide portfolio management advice and unique investment opportunities. Some of these expanded opportunities include pre-IPO funds, private equity, and structured notes. Along with these new portfolio opportunities, we were excited to start our Gentry Podcast series this past summer. If you missed our first few episodes, check out our YouTube channel here!
We all know that technology is ever-changing, and that continuous learning is essential in any industry. To support our employees’ advancement, this year we sent members of the office to various financial conferences across the US. These conferences covered subjects like new technology, advanced planning, and investment management and provided our team with opportunities to gain more knowledge and develop their skills so we are more equipped to help our clients achieve their goals.
As we approach 2024, we will continue to keep our clients up to date on current events through more podcasts (in addition to our monthly newsletter) and we plan to continue our focus on employee development. If you’ve been to our office recently, you may have noticed that we added workspaces to accommodate our expanding team. We are extremely grateful for the additional team members to help serve our clients, but now we are faced with the happy dilemma of where to fit all these team members. Next year, we plan to move to a new location that will provide us with more space and thus the ability to comfortably meet with our clients while also accommodating our team. We are looking forward to what 2024 will bring but most importantly we are looking forward to strengthening our relationships with our clients and colleagues.
We deeply appreciate your continued support and wish you and your family the very best
this holiday season!
Jeff Wetta, RPS and Dustin Jackson, CFP® RICP®
Your Executive Summary
Third quarter earnings season has been broadly positive for our portfolio companies. Both the S&P 500 and AGG rallied in November as the Fed held interest rates steady at 5.25% – 5.50% for the month. Inflation came in at 3.2% down from 3.7% in September, largely driven by lower gas prices. Core CPI ex-food and energy came in at 4.0% year-on-year (down from 4.1% in September). Although inflation is still above the Fed’s long-term target of 2%, it has gradually fallen throughout the year. We expect inflation to remain above the Fed’s target rate in the short and medium term as we head into next year. Unless inflation drops or spikes drastically, we also anticipate that interest rates are likely to hold fairly steady. Service Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) were in positive territory as the consumer continues to drive economic growth, and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Report beat estimates. Beyond the consumer factors, lead indicators are pointing towards an orderly and gradual economic slowdown in 2024.
With this in mind, we remain diversified and invested selectively across asset classes. We priced new growth note opportunities over the month where we believe risk-to-return prospects are favorable. We’re also evaluating private credit and private equity opportunities and have meetings booked with a number of top managers between now and the end of the year as we seek to increase our alternative investment allocations in 2024. Our equity positioning is balanced, with allocations to both large cap growth companies that have the ability to grow their earnings at above average rates over the long term, and quality high dividend companies that have resilient earnings streams and are well placed to pay their dividends. Lastly, we remain invested in good quality, American businesses and are still overweight US equities relative to international.
Sevasti Balafas, CFA, CPWA®
CEO & Founder
Sources: Apollo, Ares, First Trust, Hamilton Lane, JP Morgan Asset Management, Carlyle, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg
Don’t Forget! A few reminders before the end of the year.
The end of the year is a busy time filled with family, celebration, and the holiday spirit. As we finish out 2023, please be aware of several important reminders and deadlines:
- Any end of year move money requests (RMDs, withdrawals, transfers, annual gifting, DAF funding, etc.) must be received by our office no later than December 15th so that we can process them by the end of the year.
Holiday Office Closing:
- The office will be closed in observance of the Christmas holiday on December 25th. We will resume normal business hours on December 26th.
- The office will be closed in observance of the New Year’s holiday on January 1st. We will resume normal business hours on January 2nd.