Sell in May?


Markets have demonstrated remarkable resilience in recent months, delivering solid first-quarter performance that has carried through to the end of April. This has transpired despite the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse in March. The market's ability to withstand such shocks is a testament to its adaptability, but it also raises questions about the road ahead.

The investor mantra "sell in May and go away" typically resurfaces around this time each year, hinting at impending seasonal market softness. Though empirical evidence supporting this adage is inconsistent at best, ongoing worries about the banking system and a decelerating global economy make this a fitting juncture to reflect on what the future may hold.

At present, economic bright spots, such as a robust labor market and the continued deceleration of inflation, are fostering optimism in the markets. This sentiment is mirrored by year-to-date market performance, with many investors hopeful that these signs hint at a soft economic landing. Moreover, there's hope that central banks will gradually ease their policies to counter slowing economic growth. Yet, the task of central banks making timely and appropriate policy decisions brings to mind the adage, "there are no new paradigms." Central bank policy often appears more an art than a science, as the pursuit of the 'ideal' interest rate often unfolds like a clumsy ballet: one keeps elevating until something inevitably crumbles.

Over the past month, challenges surfacing within the global banking system have exposed some unforeseen policy consequences of this current cycle, the full implications of which may only be evident in hindsight. It remains unclear whether this recent stress is a harbinger of more troubling future events. However, it is undeniable that the aftershocks of the mini banking crisis have magnified the headwinds for an already sluggish global economy. The decrease in bank lending and a renewed focus on balance sheet strength, in response to capital flight and asset volatility, have further exacerbated these challenges, and amplified the risk of a recession. Despite these circumstances, central banks continue to uphold a restrictive stance as leading indicators falter and economic conditions worsen—underscoring the persistent risks that lie ahead.

As we appraise the recovery in asset prices so far this year, we're vigilantly monitoring potential near-term risks. Markets are fundamentally driven by earnings and valuations. With a contraction on the horizon, we're carefully tracking how this situation might impact individual company fundamentals and the broader market. As we navigate these uncertainties, our commitment to rebalancing portfolios and identifying opportunities to improve their quality and stability remains steadfast. Our focus is to navigate these unpredictable waters with your best interests at heart, and we are always available to address any questions or concerns you may

- Jack

Don't Quit, Persist: The Power of Staying Invested During Market Downturns
Markets can be unpredictable, and it's easy to let emotions guide investment decisions during times of volatility. To illustrate the importance of persistence during market downturns, we recommend watching the video 'Persist While Others Quit.' It follows the value of $10,000 invested from Jan 1 1992 through the end of October 22 (the markets lows last year) and highlights the impact of staying invested versus reacting to market fluctuations.

Successful investing requires a long-term plan and the determination to stick to it, even when it feels difficult. At Chernick & Associates, we're here to support you and help you navigate the ups and downs of the markets with a clear focus on your financial goals.

FHSA: The Tax-Free Savings Account for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home is a dream for many Canadians, but the financial burden can be overwhelming. The introduction of the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA) by the Canadian government is good news for first-time home buyers. This account allows you to save up to $40,000 on a tax-free basis and helps you save for a down payment.

The FHSA is available for Canadian residents who are at least 18 years old and qualify as a first-time home buyer. Contributions are tax-deductible, and withdrawals to purchase a first home are non-taxable, making it a win-win situation. You can hold a variety of investments in your FHSA, including mutual funds, publicly traded securities, government and corporate bonds, and GICs.

If you're a first-time home buyer looking for ways to make your home purchase more affordable, the FHSA is worth considering. With the ability to combine it with the Home Buyers' Plan, you could withdraw up to $75,000 of capital, plus any investment income and growth in the FHSA, for the same qualifying home purchase.

Richardson Wealth is working towards providing these accounts to clients in the coming months. For more information on the FHSA and to stay up to date on its availability, visit our website.

Your Estate, Your Rules: The Significance of a Well-Crafted Will:

At Chernick & Associates, we understand that estate planning is a crucial part of securing your legacy and ensuring the well-being of your loved ones. Unfortunately, many people neglect this essential aspect, which can lead to complications and delays in the distribution of their assets. We've compiled crucial information on our website, addressing the potential pitfalls of dying intestate – without a valid and up-to-date will.

Our comprehensive guide covers topics such as the consequences of not having a will or naming an executor, the responsibilities of an appointed executor, and the distribution of your estate in the absence of named heirs. We also include an informative table detailing intestacy distribution by jurisdiction, to help you understand how the laws differ from province to province.

Don't leave your estate and loved ones vulnerable to the uncertainty of intestacy laws. Visit our website here to learn more about the importance of having a well-crafted will and how you can ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes.

From Science Fiction to Reality: The Latest Advancements in AI You Need to Know
The world of artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting areas of technology today. Earlier this year, we briefly discussed the emergence of the AI application ChatGPT as a must-use tool of this early AI revolution. Since then, there have been even more fascinating developments in this space. It seems like every day there's a new breakthrough or discovery that pushes the boundaries of what we thought was possible. Keeping up with these developments can feel like a full-time job, but it's also incredibly exciting to see where this technology is headed.

To help you stay informed, I've compiled a list of three interesting developments that have occurred in the AI space over the last month:
1.) OpenAI released GPT-4 in early March, an updated version of its text-generating AI program with new abilities such as producing more natural-sounding text, solving problems more accurately, and processing images in addition to text. GPT-4 is multimodal, meaning it works with both text and images and can understand context in images to connect them to social understandings of language, a task that previous AI models were unable to do. If you're interested in exploring some of the cool features that GPT-4 has to offer, be sure to check out the following TED talk by OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman.

2.) OpenAI's DALL-E recently released its latest iteration of its text-to-image platform, but it was Midjourney's AI-generated image of Pope Francis in a Balenciaga puffer jacket grabbed the internet's attention, showcasing the rapid progress of AI-generated imagery (see below example). As these images become more realistic, they can be used in various industries but also raise ethical concerns, particularly in the realm of fake news.

Click here see more examples showcasing the progress of Midjourny's AI-generated images over the past year.

3.) The music industry is currently grappling with the implications of AI-generated songs. Following the recent viral sensation of "Heart on My Sleeve," a track that used AI-generated deep-faked vocals of artists Drake and The Weeknd, Universal Music removed the song after a petition was filed. Pop singer Grimes also made headlines when she announced on Twitter that she would split 50% royalties on any successful AI-generated song that uses her voice, offering the same deal as with any artist she collaborates with. In addition, Liam Gallagher shared his verdict on an AI-generated Oasis album titled The Lost Tapes Volume One, featuring music and lyrics written by the real-life band Breezer, but with vocals from an artificial intelligence-generated "Liam." These incidents raise concerns about the impact of new technology on the music industry and highlight the need for regulations and rules to protect creators and consumers.