AJA Weekly Recap

2024 | January 29


Here is your weekly market commentary. We hope you enjoy receiving our newsletters. If you have any questions about the following content, please let us know!

- The AJA Team

This Week….

  • Upcoming Events
  • The Markets
  • 2023 Tax Forms
  • HSA & Retirement Savings

The Weekly Focus

Think About It

"Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck."


— Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama

Upcoming Firm Events

Social Security Webinar

February 22nd 12:00pm-1:00 pm CT | Via Zoom

Have questions about Social Security? Andrew and John will be hosting an engaging webinar with investment management company, Nuveen, to answer all your questions. Registration and Zoom invitation coming soon!

The Market

Stocks Gain Again

The S&P 500 and the Dow edged slightly above the record highs that they achieved the previous week and rose for the 12th time out of the past 13 weeks. The NASDAQ also posted a modest weekly gain but remained 3.7% below its historic high achieved on November 19, 2021.

The U.S. economy again exceeded most economists’ expectations in the fourth quarter as GDP expanded at a 3.3% annual rate. While that marked a slowdown from the third quarter’s 4.9% pace, it closed out a strong 2023 that saw GDP expand at a full-year figure of 3.1%, easing anxiety about prospects for a recession.

Approaching the midpoint of earnings season, companies in the S&P 500 were on track to record the lowest quarterly profit margins in more than three years. The average net profit margin for the fourth quarter was 10.7% versus 12.2% in the previous quarter, according to FactSet. If 10.7% remains the final number once all fourth-quarter results are in, it would mark the lowest margin since 2020’s second quarter.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge for tracking inflation posted a modest 0.2% month-to-month increase in December. While the figure was up from a 0.1% decline in November, it closed out a year that saw the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index rise at an annual rate of 2.9% in 2023 excluding volatile food and energy prices—far below 2022’s level.

U.S. crude oil climbed nearly 7% for the week as the price topped $78 per barrel, the highest level in about two months. The latest weekly gain came amid a recent decline in U.S. crude supplies and continuing tensions in the Middle East.

A gain on Monday for a Japanese stock benchmark pushed it closer to its record high set in December 1989, before Japan’s economy went into a long slump. Meanwhile, a monthly inflation reading on Friday showed a bigger-than-expected slowdown in price increases, easing pressure on Japan’s central bank to raise interest rates.

After leading the value equity style by a wide margin in 2023, growth stocks have maintained their edge in the opening weeks of this year. At Friday’s close, a U.S. large-cap growth benchmark was up about 4.0% year to date while a value benchmark was up just 0.4%.

In addition to more quarterly earnings reports, the new week will bring a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting that concludes on Wednesday and a monthly jobs report on Friday. The Fed is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged; the jobs report will show how January’s jobs growth compared with December’s bigger-than-expected gain of 216,000 jobs.  


Source: John Hancock Investment Management

2023 Tax Documents

As a reminder for the calendar year 2023, you may receive tax documents not only from Charles Schwab (our current account custodian) but also from TD Ameritrade (for taxable details that occurred before the merger with Charles Schwab last year).

All 1099 forms will be available on the 1099 Dashboard on www.schwaballiance.com for both Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Once you login to the website, look for the “Statements” link towards the top middle of the page. There you will find the 1099 Dashboard with the expected date the forms will be produced.

1099s for Schwab and TD Ameritrade will be issued separately; timing will vary. The forms will look different, but they contain the same types of information. Some tax forms have already been issued. The following is a schedule of when Schwab and TD will be posting further rounds of tax documents.

Based on IRS "de minimis" rules, both Schwab and TD Ameritrade produce forms for an account only when at least one of the following conditions are met:

  • The account reaches $10 in dividend income
  • The account reaches $10 in interest, royalties, or original issue discount (OID) income
  • A Form 1099-B reportable transaction occurs in the account (e.g., a sell or a buy to cover)
  • The account received $600 or more in miscellaneous income

If your account did not include any of these activities, you won't receive a 1099 for 2023. Please contact us if you have any questions or trouble accessing your tax documents!

Here's Another Tax-Advantage Way to Save for Retirement

Many people are looking for ways to save more for retirement. An option that is often overlooked is the health savings account, or HSA. While some eligible people are using these accounts for short-term savings, most are not taking advantage of the potential long-term benefits, according to Bank of America’s 2023 Workplace Benefits Report.

Anyone who is enrolled in a qualifying high-deductible health plan (HDHP) can contribute to an HSA. It’s an attractive option because these accounts offer a triple tax advantage:

1.      Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars.

2.      Any investment earnings grow tax deferred.

3.      Withdrawals taken for qualified medical expenses are tax-free.

This year, individuals can contribute up to $4,150 to an HSA, while families can contribute up to $8,300. Those over 55 years old can contribute an additional $1,000. Depending on the HSA, it may be possible to invest any money that is not used for current medical expenses.

For instance, imagine a 35-year-old saves about $2,000 in an HSA each year until retirement at age 65. They withdrew $500 a year to pay for healthcare, and invest the rest, earning 7 percent a year, on average. At retirement, the individual would have more than $150,000 in the account.

Best of all, after age 65, the money in an HSA can be withdrawn without penalty for any purpose at all. The caveat is that taxes may be owed on distributions taken for purposes unrelated to healthcare (this is similar to a traditional pre-tax retirement account). In addition, the savings could be used to reimburse some Medicare premiums, as well as healthcare costs that are not covered by Medicare.

If you would like to learn more about HSAs, please get in touch.

AJ Advisors

Phone: (615) 709-8709

Fax: (615) 505-3306


Charles Schwab


John Stauffer, CFP®

Andrew Quinn, CFP®

Emily Triano

Operations Manager


Maya Laws

Operations Associate


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