🍽️ Adds crystal ball to cart: 2024 predictions

Plus: Naughty tech toy list, Elon's new STEM school, Djokovic's mental stamina secret, and more....

Together With

Hey Future Funders family,

Today marks our very last report of 2023— and before we press pause to focus on making memories with our family— we couldn't go without expressing our utmost thanks to our family of readers.

From the bottom of our hearts, you have helped turn our passion of helping families navigate their finances into an almost 40,000 subscriber business (in just under a year!).

And we aren't done yet… we have a lot of plans for 2024, so look for some exciting updates in the coming months ahead, but none of this would be possible without you.

So from our family to yours— Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Okay let’s get to it…

💬 Quote Of The Week

“If it requires my child to sit still and be quiet I can’t come.”

-Said by parents with small kids everywhere

*Stock data as of 12/15 market close, bitcoin as of 4pm 12/15. Here is what these numbers mean.

🚀 What’s happening: For the 8th consecutive week, the S&P 500 ended higher as markets reacted positively to the Fed reporting that they were not only done raising interest rates, but they also expect to make three rate cuts in 2024 (side note: interest rates act like gravity on all asset prices including stocks - when rates go up it means as an investor you require a higher rate of return for the added risk you are taking, so prices go down. And visa versa). 

The VIX Index is also worth pointing out this week as it now sits at close to lows on the year (typically a number under 20 means the markets are calm … it’s now at 12). This is an unusually low reading which typically does not last very long (more on this below).

👪 Closer to home: The stock market has had a great run this year, although it’s worth pointing out that we are still below all time highs (the S&P 500 reached an all time high of 4,797 on January 3rd 2022; if you adjust for inflation, the S&P would need to hit about 5,300 for an inflation adjusted all-time high).

Because of the recent run, we see a lot of returns for next year being pulled forward (i.e. being realized right now).

As we head into 2024, our advice would be to learn and watch (here is a guide to get you started if you are new to investing in the market), be patient, and watch for pull backs to put new money in (here are some indicators to follow to know when might be a good time).

🍽️ Main Course

Your Money And Your Kids

What Happens In 2024?

🚀 What’s happening: We all remember the predictions of those that got things right when everyone else was wrong.

Whether it was the few who predicted the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team would beat the Russians in 1980, those who predicted the housing collapse in 2008, or the people warning of covid in 2019, being right when the crowd is wrong stands out.

But the truth that no one talks about is: the crowd is usually right.

The reason for this, at least in our view, is that most people tend to extrapolate what is going on now to what will happen in the future. And most of the time, this line of thinking tends to be right (unless of course we get a once in a 100 year pandemic).

So now that you know that, you know to take our money predictions for 2024 (or anyone else’s) with a grain of salt.

The Fed won’t cut rates until June 2024.

This one is both positive and negative, but slightly against the crowd (the market is currently pricing in a +60% chance of the first cut being in March). It’s positive because it means inflation will continue to come down and the economy will hold in ok for the first half of the year, but negative because once the Fed does start cutting, it tends to be a real sign that economic growth is struggling.

Most investors right now are simply cheering the lower inflation numbers and paying less attention to slower company growth. Companies should be able to cut costs for the 1H of the year to maintain profitability and give the Fed a reason to hold off, but once we get to the 2H of 2024, there won’t be anything left to cut and so the Fed will have to come to the rescue.

We do have one caveat to this prediction: the Fed sounded much more open to rates cuts that we would have thought at their meeting last week. A part of us does wonder whether this is because they are already seeing something in the global economy that worries them (that we aren’t).

2024 will be a good year for stocks, but they won’t go up in a straight line (so be patient).

The VIX Index, as talked to above (explained in more detail here), is unusually calm right now amid lots of global uncertainty. We see this changing in 2024 as geopolitical events continue to unfold and we get closer to the U.S. election.

During an election year there tends to be more volatility as different types of stocks will react depending on who the market thinks will win the election at any given moment. For example, if the market thinks a Democrat will win, we would expect companies tied to electric vehicles to do well. If the market thinks a Republican will win, we would expect oil & gas companies to do better.

On the whole though, we predict a solid year for stocks and the S&P 500 to hit 5,000 by August or September if not sooner (which would be about 6% upside from here). For the record election years tend to be positive with and average return of 4% so we aren’t really going out on a limb with this one based on history.

Creative earning opportunities will continue to expand (so keep looking).

A recent survey found that 64 million people did freelance work in 2023 (a record high). More and more people are looking to earn extra money or escape their 9 to 5— and we think this trend will only increase in 2024.

If you are looking for a way to earn more, the key is finding something that you can do consistently (here is a quick guide to help).

We will be focusing more on tips to help you earn more in 2024 to align with this view as we plan to make our newsletter shorter and expand it to multiple days a week, so stay tuned.

👪 Closer to home: Whatever comes in 2024, we are going to try to be here to help you understand it all and position you and your family for success.

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 Dining With Everyday Dose

(And yes, we are real customers here at Future Funders! 5 stars!)

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Are you ready for a new you this new year?

Dinner Discussion ❓

Will the economy get better or worse in 2024?

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 The Side Dishes

Headlines That Matter

🧾The Consumer Price Index (CPI) revealed that consumer inflation in November was 3.1% vs. last year, in line with October. The Producer Price Index (PPI), or what the people make your stuff pay, saw prices in November rise 0.9% from last year vs. 1.2% in October. We care more about the PPI at this point as what producers pay now is typically what you will eventually pay.

📱We stumbled upon this free aid for parents that summarizes which tech toys have the biggest risks for our kids (and how to implement safeguards if your kids play with them).

📋 If anyone in your family has a job interview coming up, we found this recent video from experts on how to win a job with body language worth a watch.

Shohei Ohtani just signed a $700 million contract to play baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the record breaking deal has an interesting twist: at his request he will only get $2 million a year for the next 10 years. Why? So his team can use the money to recruit more talent (once his contract expires, he will get $68 million a year for the next 10 years.) He is a recap of how it works and a way to talk to your kids about money, life, and risk vs. reward.

🎾 We loved this one minute lesson video from tennis star Novak Djokovic on his secret for staying mentally strong… We are all out there every day trying to do what is best for our families, and using this trick as we approach our finances (or anything else in life) can help.

🏫 Austin, TX is increasingly becoming ground zero for new models of education. The latest development comes from Elon Musk, who just announced he is starting a school offering primary and secondary education focused on STEM subjects.

🏎️ Thinking about buying a car? This will give you an idea about which ones have the best resale value.

🍨 Dessert

Deals, Reads, And Other Finds

🤖 Discover the secrets to write amazing content faster with AI (that sounds like you!) to attract your audience and monetize your knowledge with this free course and newsletter. Sign up here! 

🚴 Peloton’s best deal on bike shoes yet! Dinner Table Discussion readers can use code NEWSHOES40 at checkout through this link for 40% off Peloton Bike Shoes.

🏈 NIL Wire helps you stay up to date on everything surrounding NIL in college athletics. Read by sports enthusiasts, coaches and ADs all over the US. Subscribe here!

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❤️ Invite Your Family

Thanks for reading Future Funders family! If like us, you believe in the power of financial knowledge (or just want your kids to get a clue!), share this newsletter with your family by having them sign up here!

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