2024 Third Quarter Insights

July, 2024

Edition: 35

The 4 Disciplines of Investing for Retirement and Wealth Creation

  1. “Investing is a marathon and not a sprint.”
  2. “Do no harm.”
  3. “Knowledge creates success; stay calm, objective and long-term oriented.”
  4. “Choose carefully what you read and to whom you listen.”

God Bless America

Happy 4th of July to all and I hope you’re all enjoying the start of your summers with family and friends. As I sit here in my office on 4th of July , while my family and friends are enjoying the beautiful day and celebrating our Independence, I will join them later this afternoon. I reflect on how far we have come since the dark days of the pandemic and how America, the best nation full of freedom and liberty, has moved forward and has returned us to the wonderful lives we all enjoy so much. As I predicted in early 2020 that we would, as a nation, figure out how to move forward and return to our day-to-day lives. For that and living in the greatest place on earth, “God Bless America.”

The first half of 2024 has continued in the same fashion that 2023 ended. The S&P 500 index has continued to reach new highs as well as the NASDAQ index while most markets have been left behind. Some fixed income markets are once again negative for the year. The S&P 500 is being led by the magnificent seven stocks which have accounted for more than 60% of the return YTD with the equal weighted S&P 500 lagging by more than 12%. Dow Theory has failed to confirm new highs, the yield curve is still inverted, and the Leading Economic Indicators(LEI) have been negative 26 of the past 27 months. The big debate is are we headed for a soft landing, a no landing or a hard landing? Either way, we as a firm are comfortable with our investments, our positioning in our models and have ample dry power to deploy if needed. Our conservative approach has worked well for us the last 20+ years and we maintain the same approach moving forward. The two greatest emotions of “FOMO,” fear of missing out and “FOLE,” fear of losing everything must be diligently respected, and we believe we do that well.

Pros and Cons

Below are some items we are watching as we head into the second half of 2024.


  • US money markets reached an all-time high of $6.12 trillion. Potential for investment into risk assets.
  • AI Technology Revolution, the Fourth Industrial Revolution driving a massive capital investment spend
  • Inflation, though sticky, has been moderating
  • Earnings for the S&P 500 have been expanding
  • US Job Openings have normalized


  • US money markets reached an all-time high of $6.12 trillion. Money markets tend to peak prior to or during a recession.
  • The 3 Month Treasury Yield and the 10 Year Treasury Yield curve have now been inverted for over 620 days
  • The LEI, Leading Economic Indicators, has been negative 26 of 27 months
  • The Israel-Hamas war could expand to a much larger regional conflict


As we head into the second half of 2024, I cannot ignore the constant media and commentaries clamoring for an interest rate cut to the federal funds rate. Are equity markets’ valuations too high that they need an interest rate cut? Is the economy slowing more rapidly? Is employment going to fall off a cliff? Or is everything ok? I do not know the answers to those questions or what shoe could potentially drop, but what I do know is: When the Fed has shifted from a more restrictive posture to a more accommodative posture it is generally a reaction to a deterioration in the macro environment. The results of those interest rate cut to the federal funds rate most often result in some notable market pullbacks ranging from as small as -5% to as large as a -55% drawdown to the S&P 500 index. So, as we proceed through the year with caution, we emphasize that we invest with the primary focus on our financial planning, goals and risk tolerances while looking to take advantage of market dislocations to make your portfolios even better.

Thank you and have a great summer,


Nicholas W. Sergio, AIF®


Founder & Chief Investment Officer
Banyan Wealth

Registered Principal & Financial Advisor

2024 RJFS Leaders Council Member



The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. The NASDAQ composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stocks of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the 2000 smallest companies in the Russel 3000 Index, which represents approximately 8% of the total market capitalization of the Russel 3000 Index. BPS stands for Basis Points and refers to a common unity of measure for interest rates, one basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1% or 0.01% it is used to denote the percentage change in a financial instrument. Inclusion of these indexes is for illustrative purposes only. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor’s results will vary. Past performance is not a guide to future performance, future returns are not guaranteed, and a loss of capital might occur. All investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss of capital. There is no assurance any investment strategy will be successful. All information, data and analysis provided in this report is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. This report does not constitute a personal recommendation or take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situations, or needs of individual clients. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete; it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Nicholas Sergio and not necessarily those of Raymond James and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James does not offer tax advice and services. You should discuss any tax matters with the appropriate professional. Holding investments for the long term does not insure a profitable outcome. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Forward looking data is subject to change at any time and there is no assurance that projections will be realized. High-yield bonds are not suitable for all investors. The risk of default may increase due to changes in the issuer’s credit quality. Price changes may occur due to changes in interest rates and the liquidity of the bond. When appropriate, these bonds should only comprise a modest portion of a portfolio. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.* Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of advisor’s future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating.



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