From the Desk of Jeff DeLarme

Timely insights from Jeff DeLarme, CFA, CFP®

Wealth Briefing: August 2023

Stocks generally declined in August but still finished the first 8 months of the year with respectable gains. Bond yields marched higher (bond prices move inversely to bond yields) as the Fed continued to signal a higher-for-longer interest rate policy. During the month, rating agency Fitch downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ effectively matching S&P’s downgrade 12 years ago.

Investors may be concerned that the August pullback is the start of a lasting contraction, however, this is just the first 5% pullback we’ve experienced in 2023. As Raymond James Chief Investment Officer Larry Adam pointed out, “historically, the S&P 500 has experienced three to four 5% pullbacks a year.” In other words, what we’re seeing is nothing out of the ordinary.

Year to date, the Dow is up nearly 5%, the technology-heavy NASDAQ is up about 34%, and the S&P 500 is up a little more than 17% (it’s worth noting that the top 8 companies in the S&P 500 are all technology companies and represent nearly 28% of the entire index). International stocks are up high single digits on the year. Bonds are still positive on the year despite higher interest rates.

In the months ahead, I expect more headlines surrounding the September 30th funding deadline for the government as Congress works to avert a government shutdown. As with most things political, I expect posturing from both sides but an eventual resolution, likely in the 11th hour.

Looking ahead, I encourage investors to avoid the temptation to forecast the economy or time the market. Instead, focus on why you’re investing, what you’re investing for and your time horizon. If markets do contract further, consider adding to quality businesses in your investment portfolio at reduced prices.


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 Jeff DeLarme and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. The information contained in this email does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.

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 Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal.

Bond prices and yields are subject to change based upon market conditions and availability. If bonds are sold prior to maturity, you may receive more or less than your initial investment. Holding bonds to term allows redemption at par value. There is an inverse relationship between interest rate movements and bond prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall and when interest rates fall, bond prices generally rise.

Archived Insights & Updates

January 2023

Publication: 2022 Annual Market Review

Publication: 4Q 2022 Market Review

October 2022

Publication: 3Q 2022 Market Review

July 2022

Publication: During Market Volatility, Consider Roth Conversions

Publication: 2Q 2022 Market Review

May 2022

Wealth Briefing: May 2022

April 2022

Wealth Briefing: April 2022

Publication: 1Q 2022 Market Review

October 2021

Publication: 3Q 2021 Market Review

August 2021

Wealth Briefing: August 2021

July 2021

Publication: 2Q 2021 Market Review

April 2021

Publication: 1Q 2021 Market Review

January 2021

Wealth Briefing: January 2021

Publication: 2020 Annual Market Review

Publication: 4Q 2020 Market Review

October 2020

Wealth Briefing: October 2020

Publication: 3Q 2020 Market Review

September 2020

Wealth Briefing: September 2020

July 2020

Wealth Briefing: July 2020

Publication: 2Q 2020 Market Review

June 2020

Wealth Briefing: June 2020

May 2020

Wealth Briefing: May 2020

April 2020

Publication: 1Q 2020 Market Review

Wealth Briefing: April 2020

March 2020

Wealth Briefing: March 2020

February 2020

Wealth Briefing: February 2020

January 2020

Publication: 2019 Annual Market Review

Publication: 4Q 2019 Market Review

Wealth Briefing: January 2020

November 2019

Wealth Briefing: November 2019

October 2019

Publication: 3Q 2019 Market Review

July 2019

Publication: 2Q 2019 Market Review

Wealth Briefing: July 2019

April 2019

Wealth Briefing: April 2019

Publication: 1Q 2019 Market Review

January 2019

Publication: 2018 Annual Market Review

December 2018

Wealth Briefing: December 2018

October 2018

Publication: Pursuing a Better Investment Experience

July 2018

Wealth Briefing: July 2018

May 2018

Wealth Briefing: May 2018

March 2018

Wealth Briefing: March 2018

February 2018

Wealth Briefing: February 2018

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