Stock Market Insights: 2023 Recession

Dr. Richard L. Baker, AIF®

“Your exit is in two miles, and you will want to be in one of the right two lanes.” It’s taken my wife and me 26 years, but we finally figured out it’s best if navigation is involved; she needs to drive, and I watch the maps. She’s a ten but directionally challenged. In traveling and investing, it’s nice to have a navigator telling you what’s ahead. A mild recession is coming, and you might want to make some adjustments.

A recession is coming. The Federal Reserve recently released the March 21-22 meeting minutes. Though the last few weeks of Fed speeches signaled there would be no recession, surprisingly, they said behind closed doors that they project “a mild recession starting later this year, with a recovery over the subsequent two years.” At least, they say it will be a mild recession.

A recent Wall Street Journal survey of economists put the odds at a 61% chance of a recession in the next 12 months. So, as your financial navigator, listen to me when I say there is a short stretch of bumpy roads coming, and you need to make some strategic adjustments.


Now would be a good time to review your investment goals and rebalance your portfolio if it is out of balance with your preferred risk level. Are you in too risky of stocks? Maybe not enough in lower-risk bonds? This morning I lowered the risk in the portfolios I manage by pulling back on small-cap and emerging market stocks and added more to large-cap growth and large-cap value stocks. I believe these trades resulted in a slight decrease in risk to my clients and put them in a good place to take advantage of opportunities.

When I was younger, I was prone to drive through the median and find some remote back road to get around traffic. Now that I’m a little more “seasoned,” I realize I usually didn’t save any time and ran the risk of damaging my vehicle. While it’s tempting to take to the median and get out of the market at every sign of a rough patch, don’t. You will never consistently time the market. The odds of getting out of the market at precisely the right time and then getting back in the market at precisely the right time are nearly impossible.

Prepare for rough patches in both your portfolio and your mental expectations. Rough patches are always part of the market cycle; instead of fretting about them, be on the hunt for low-cost stock and bond investing opportunities.

I read a great quote last night in the book, The Boys in the Boat, about the US rowing team who won the Olympic gold medal in 1936. This quote refers to the physical toll of being a competitive rower, but I think it also speaks to us about rough patches in investing. “It’s not a question of whether you will hurt, or of how much you will hurt; it’s a question of what you will do, and how well you will do it, while pain has her wanton way with you.” – Daniel James Brown.”

I now am the navigator in our family because I don’t get emotionally rattled when decisions need to be made quickly. Unemotional driving decisions have greatly improved our travel regardless of how smooth or bumpy the road is. If we have a mild and short recession, how you respond to it will affect your investments more than the recession itself.

Have a blessed week!

Dr. Richard Baker, AIF®, is the founder and executive wealth advisor at Fervent Wealth Management.

Fervent Wealth Management is a financial management and services entity in Springfield, Missouri. 

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

 Opinions voiced above are for general information only & not intended as specific advice or recommendations for any person. All performance cited is historical & is no guarantee of future results.

 The economic forecast outlined in this material may not develop as predicted & there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.