8 min read

2023 = Bumpy Ride?

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Happy New Year!

We didn’t have a hard time saying goodbye to the 2022 market, a year that found many investors yearning for the results they had seen in previous years. The last 12 months marked a dramatic shift, with many young people experiencing a financial bear market and sky-high inflation for the first time. The S&P 500 benchmark index sank almost 20%, its worst annual performance since the 2008 financial crisis, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell 33.1%. This was accompanied by the collapse of speculation-driven crazes like meme stocks, NFTs, and crypto empires — not quite the roaring 20s we were promised.

A mixed bag is the most we dare to hope for this year, which will have many of the same headwinds of the last. Optimism is out, and pragmatism is in this year, says Fidelity, whose annual survey revealed a reversal of historic trends. Keep reading for a detailed look at what to expect and how you can prepare. After recapping the biggest sustainability news of 2022 last week, we also discuss some sustainability trends for 2023 below.

The energy and excitement that accompanies the start of the year can be used to take stock of your finances, make new resolutions, and consider what you want your sustainable investing journey to look like. Don’t overcomplicate it — those who keep their resolutions credit their success to setting goals that are realistic, easy to maintain, and specific. A few simple ones to consider: save more, keep track of your spending, pay off a credit card, build an emergency fund, and plan financially with an eye on your longer-term goals.

News you can use

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  • The 20 fastest-growing brands in 2022 included a generic cream cheese, Google Sheets, and two sustainability and impact-focused companies. Bright spots include: fourth-ranked SToK Cold-Brew Coffee, which is Rainforest Alliance Certified and owned by Danone North America (a Certified B Corp), and Greek yogurt manufacturer Chobani, which famously promised its employees 10% of its shares when it goes public or is sold and was recognized by Fortune as one of the top 50 companies changing the world.
  • Public companies paid out record-setting dividends in 2022, and predictions say it’s likely this trend will continue. After a downturn during the pandemic, S&P 500 companies allocated $561 billion in dividends in 2022. While companies can always adjust their dividend policies, we’ve long reported on the recession-proofing benefits of dividend stocks, and this could be a (good) trend to watch in 2023.
  • HP, General Mills, and Whirlpool Corporation have topped Newsweek’s annual list of America's Most Responsible Companies. Only public firms with total assets over $50 billion were considered and judged on all three pillars of ESG: environmental, social, and corporate governance. “We found the largest number of responsible companies (55) in the materials and chemicals business; the fewest (12) in hotels, dining, and leisure,” the publication reported.

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