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Effective Date:  May 14, 2024



Following a robust first quarter for equity markets, stocks experienced a downturn in April but have since regained most of their losses in May. Higher inflation readings and an escalation of the regional conflict in the Middle East momentarily pressured US and international stock markets. The S&P 500 has achieved approximately a 10% gain year-to-date, with international indices also showing solid year-to-date gains. Interest rates have seen a modest increase this year as the bond market anticipates fewer interest rate cuts by the FOMC, given that inflation has proven slightly more persistent than initially expected at the beginning of the year. We anticipate 2024 to be a positive year for portfolios, driven by the Federal Reserve ending its hiking cycle and potentially cutting interest rates later this year. However, the main risks include further escalation in regional conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as a resurgence in inflationary pressures. Markets have started the year well and may continue to trade sideways for the next several months until after the US Presidential election is settled or until the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates. Click on the following link to view the entire market update video.


CLICK HERE to watch the Market Update video.

Brian West, CFA, CPA
Chief Investment Officer
(515) 284 1011
111 East Grand Avenue, Suite 412
Des Moines, IA 50309
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