It’s Tax Time

Tax season is underway, and April 15th will be here before you know it. If you haven’t already done so, please reach out to your advisor or call us at (203) 967-2231 to schedule your tax appointment. If you have friends or family on the lookout for top-tier independent tax prep or financial services, we’d be honored if you refer them to us.

The Markets

The bull market is alive and well.

“We know what investors are thinking,” reported Jacob Sonenshine of Barron’s. “The gains can keep coming, driven by an economy that is neither too hot nor too cold… The economy is growing, but only moderately, and the Federal Reserve can keep thinking about when it can start cutting interest rates… This dynamic is why nobody wants to miss out on the rally—and why they think it can keep going. A recent survey from Investors Intelligence shows the number of bulls outnumbered their bearish counterparts by the widest margin since late 2021.”

Recent market performance owes much to:

  • Solid earnings growth and strong corporate profits. Last week, 97 percent of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index had shared how well they performed in the fourth quarter of 2023. Overall, blended earnings for companies in the Index grew 4 percent year-over-year, exceeding expectations. Blended net profits were stable at 11.2 percent year-over-year, reported John Butters of FactSet.
  • Slowing Inflation. Last week, one of the Fed’s favorite inflation gauges, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, showed inflation moved lower year-over-year. Prices rose 2.6 percent over the 12 months through December 2023 and 2.4 percent over the 12 months through January 2024. While inflation trended lower over the longer period, it increased month-to-month. In December 2023, prices rose 0.1 percent, and in January 2024, prices rose 0.3 percent.
  • Enthusiasm for artificial intelligence (AI). Investors expect AI to boost productivity and corporate earnings. “Innovations in electricity and personal computers unleashed investment booms of as much as 2% of U.S. GDP as the technologies were adopted into the broader economy. Now, investment in artificial intelligence is ramping up quickly and could eventually have an even bigger impact on [economic growth],” reported Goldman Sachs.

Last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq Composite Indices closed at record highs, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated. All three indices finished February with gains, reported Chuck Mikolajczak of Reuters. The U.S. Treasury market rallied with yields falling for all but the shortest maturity of Treasuries.

Data as of 3/1/24 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 Index 1.0% 7.7% 30.0% 9.6% 12.9% 10.8%
Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index 0.4 2.0 9.8 -1.7 3.1 1.9
10-year Treasury Note (yield only) 4.2 N/A 4.0 1.5 2.8 2.6
Gold (per ounce) 1.1 -1.4 11.3 5.7 9.3 4.3
Bloomberg Commodity Index 1.9 -1.5 -9.4 4.7 3.7 -3.2

S&P 500, Dow Jones Global ex-US, Gold, Bloomberg Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch,, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Printing Houses on the Moon

For decades, Star Trek and its many spinoffs told tales of space travel. In that fictional universe, the Starfleet explored space at the behest of an interstellar government following the rules and laws of that government.

For many years, actual space exploration fell under the purview of governments, too. However, that has been changing. Today, space is a rapidly growing private sector endeavor. Estimates suggest the private space industry could be valued at $770 billion by 2027, reported Reuters.

In the next decade or so, we may see:

  • Direct-to-device satellite programs. “Integrating satellite and terrestrial mobile networks could unlock new revenue for the satellite, semiconductor, and telecom industries,” wrote David Jarvis and colleagues in Deloitte Insights. “…this technology does not compete with terrestrial cellular services from mobile network operators. It provides limited connectivity in areas where there is no terrestrial cellular coverage.” (Extraterrestrial service is not yet available.)
  • Growth of the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) economy. An early area of growth in the space economy is expected to take place 99 to 1,200 miles above the Earth in what’s known as LEO. According to Deloitte, “…the industry can be dissected into six broad market segments that encompass specific commercial activities.” The segments include infrastructure, services, on-orbit research and development, on-orbit manufacturing, space tourism, and media, entertainment and advertising.
  • Habitable communities on the moon by 2040. “In the vast expanse of the cosmos, a visionary dream is becoming a reality: homes on the moon, an audacious endeavor spearheaded by NASA. This cosmic ambition… is now hurtling towards reality, fueled by cutting-edge technology, innovation, and unyielding determination… Imagine houses emerging from the moon’s surface… crafted from the very rock chips and mineral fragments that define the moon's rugged terrain. How, you may understandably ask? With 3D printers,” reported Architectural Digest.

The growing space industry will create opportunities for investors – and for new graduates who can pursue careers related to space in the private industry, as well as within governments.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“Live long and prosper.”

—Mr. Spock, fictional Star Trek character

Wishing you and your families well,
Sean M. Dowling, CFP, EA
President, The Dowling Group Wealth Management

Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added.

  • Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
  • Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
  • The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
  • All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
  • The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
  • The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
  • Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
  • The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
  • The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
  • International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
  • Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
  • Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
  • Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
  • Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
  • You cannot invest directly in an index.
  • Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
  • The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.
  • The Price-to-Earning (P/E) ratio is a measure of the price paid for a share relative to the annual net income or profit earned by the firm per share. It is a financial ratio used for valuation: a higher P/E ratio means investors are paying more for each unit of net income, thus, the stock is more expensive compared to one with a lower P/E ratio.
  • These views are those of Carson Group Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
  • This newsletter was prepared by Carson Group Coaching. Carson Group Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
  • The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
  • Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources: (or go to

ADV & Investment Objectives: Please contact The Dowling Group if there are any changes in your financial situation or investment objectives, or if you wish to impose, add or modify any reasonable restrictions to the management of your account. Our current disclosure statement is set forth on Part II of Form ADV and is available for your review upon request.