Q4 2023 Quarterly Newsletter

What follows is our Q4 2023 Quarterly Newsletter. Want in on the action? Scroll to the very bottom of the page to sign up.

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We made it. 2024 is well underway. We’ll try to make sense of the strong equity market performance that closed out 2023 and the relative resilience of the economy. We’ve also got a new batch of common terms and definitions, as well as an invitation to the first of many upcoming Copia events.

We’re here for you,

The Copia Team

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Market Update

Major U.S. Stock Market Index Performance in Q4 of 2023: 

  • S&P 500 +11.69%
  • Nasdaq Composite +13.8%
  • Russell 2000 -14.0%
  • Dow Jones Industrial -13.1%

If you recall from our last newsletter, despite the challenging economic and market conditions we experienced in the third quarter, we discussed the potential for the equity markets to show resilience as the year ended. Indeed, a “Santa Claus rally” was what we witnessed! The fourth quarter’s equity returns pushed portfolios into solidly positive territory for the year.

Now, as we transition into 2024, the question arises: Are we past the economic risks we discussed last quarter? Have we entered a new “bull market”?

Let’s begin with the positive developments: the job market remains robust, with weekly jobless claims in mid-January hitting their lowest since September 2022, and the national unemployment rate is at pre-pandemic lows. Consumer confidence is at its highest since July 2021, up 21.4% from last year. The holiday sales season saw core retail sales surge to a record $964.4 billion, a 3.8% increase from 2022, surpassing all Wall Street expectations. These factors suggest a resilient U.S. economy.

However, concerning trends also merit attention, particularly regarding the American consumer. Credit card balances have risen for nine consecutive quarters, with total debt exceeding $1 trillion—an all-time high. Concurrently, credit card delinquency rates are climbing and have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Moreover, the savings rate is now lower than before the pandemic. A Bankrate poll indicates that only 44 percent of U.S. adults could cover a $1,000 emergency expense from savings. These trends likely reflect the impact of inflation—as prices rise, spending increases—contributing to the economy’s resilience.

While there are numerous other economic indicators to consider, this mix suggests that 2024 may not be entirely smooth sailing. We anticipate headwinds in domestic markets and wouldn’t be surprised by mild to moderate corrections early in the year, particularly in sectors that performed well at the end of 2023. Add to this the heightened political activity of an election year, and we can expect volatile market performance in the first half. However, this volatility is not necessarily negative. As asset managers, we view market fluctuations as opportunities to build longer-term positions. While the timing of the next bull market is uncertain, we remain confident that market prices will be significantly higher in the next 3-5 years, and we aim to capitalize on this recovery for our clients.

Regarding investment opportunities, we are focusing on market segments with potential for long-term growth or those that have lagged behind broader indices. These include U.S. Small-Cap stocks, Emerging International Markets such as India and Latin America, and Precious Metals. We are also considering investments in specific sectors like Health Care, Biotechnology, Semiconductors, and Crypto/Blockchain Technology, particularly in more aggressive portfolios.

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Copia Events Calendar

 

Before the pandemic, we relished hosting client events. Our “60 Minutes With Copia” series, inspired by the iconic CBS program, was particularly popular, focusing on key topics and featuring local business leaders. The pandemic led us to pause these gatherings, but now, with our growth and a new space for group events, we’re eager to revive this tradition and enrich your experience as a Copia client.

We’re thrilled to announce multiple client events for 2024, kicking off with an Open House at our new office (details to follow). We’ll continue with “60 Minutes With Copia” and other engaging events throughout the year.

Your input is invaluable to us; we invite you to share the topics you find most interesting and important. Please take a moment to complete a brief survey to help us curate our events calendar to your preferences.

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Tax Document Information

 

It’s that time of the year again—tax season! We understand you’re gathering necessary documents for filing your taxes or for your tax advisor.

All 1099-R tax forms from Schwab, relevant for those who took distributions from their IRAs in 2023, have been uploaded to the Vault section of your Client Portal as of last week. For those with Taxable or Trust accounts, 1099-Consolidated forms will be available by the end of this week and will also be uploaded to the Portal. Additionally, all 1099 forms will be mailed to your recorded address. If you prefer, we can send these directly to you or your tax professional via email—just let us know.

For investments in commodities and precious metals, we primarily use the Invesco ETF, symbol ‘DBC,’ which requires a K-1 tax form for Taxable & Trust accounts. We don’t have electronic access to these K-1 forms, but they will be mailed to you directly from the ETF provider. Keep an eye out for them in the coming weeks.

Remember, the tax filing deadline this year is Monday, April 15th. You can contribute to your Traditional or Roth IRAs for 2023 until this date. The contribution limits are $6,500 for those under 50, and $7,500 for those 50 or older. Let us know if you wish to make a 2023 IRA contribution!

For assistance with the Client Portal or any tax form queries, feel free to call us at 541-647-2545 or email CopiaTeam@copiawealthmanagement.com.

We’re here for you!

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Glossary of Common Terms


Not all investors understand all of our jargon. We thought it’d be helpful to provide a running “Glossary of Terms” to help clarify some terms that are common to us!

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We’ve moved!

Visit us at our new office:

572 SW Bluff Dr #100
Bend, OR 97702

Relationship Specialist

Ben
Graziani

Another accomplished local student-athlete joins the Copia family.

Ben grew up in Palm Desert, California, before moving to Bend, Oregon, right before high school. 

Ben Graziani

He graduated in 2018 from Summit High with a 4.0 GPA, lettering for three years at wide receiver and helping the Storm football team to an OSAA Class 5A State Championship and back-to-back Mountain Valley Conference Championships. He was named a first-team all-league and second-team all-state selection in football. Additionally, he was part of a State Championship 4×400-meter relay team as a junior. He also lettered in basketball.

After high school, he attended Southern Oregon University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Business with a concentration in Finance. He was a member of the school’s leadership council for three years. He also played football for five years for the Raiders, scoring 8 touchdowns in 13 total starts in a career shortened due to Covid-19 and a collarbone injury. Post-college, he joined the Summit HS football staff as the Varsity Wide Receivers Coach.

 

Ben football

Ben is extremely close with his family. His parents, Tony and Sarah, live and work in Bend, and his younger brother (Montana State) and sister (University of Oregon) both currently attend college. He feels super fortunate to join the Copia team because of how much they value relationships and often put others before themselves. He is super excited to meet all the members of the Copia family and is ready to help in any way that he can!

Ben Fam

Relationship Specialist

George Mendazona

George graduated from Redmond's Ridgeview High School in 2016, following a standout prep baseball career.

George grew up in Madras, Oregon, and graduated from Ridgeview High School in Redmond in 2016, after a standout athletic career where he was an OSAA All-State performer in baseball (three times), basketball (twice), and football (once). He was also recognized as the Intermountain Conference Player of the Year in both Baseball and Basketball in 2015. After high school, he was offered a roster position as an infielder for the Oregon State Beavers baseball program and was part of the 2018 NCAA National Championship team.

After four years at OSU, George transferred to Lubbock Christian University to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. Instead of pursuing a professional baseball career, he put his Exercise Science degree to work, moved back to Bend, and served as a strength and conditioning coach at Boss Sports Performance.

He considers himself a family man and puts a major personal emphasis on carrying that out on a daily basis. Recognizing that Copia is a family-oriented firm with strong values consistent with his own, George is excited about building relationships with all existing and future Copia clients and is eager to apply his previous experience as a leader on elite teams to learn a new industry and business.

Chief Compliance & Operations Officer

Geoff Gruetzmacher

After serving a 17-year career in firefighting, Geoff has transitioned to wealth management.

Geoff retired from the City of Kennewick, WA Fire Department in 2020, started with Copia in 2021 and is now a fully licensed Fiduciary Advisor of Copia.

During his time as a firefighter, Geoff served as a leader of both an engine and an ambulance crew, enjoying the team aspect of the job and working to achieve a common goal.

Ultimately, Geoff simply wants to continue helping people in a meaningful way. Copia Wealth Management gladly welcomed Geoff to the team for his experience in operations and relationship building. Geoff is now a fully licensed IAR of Copia Wealth Management and always looks forward to conversations with clients. He volunteers with Bend North Little League and works with Bend area animal rescue non-profits.

Geoff graduated from Redmond High School, has been married to his wife, Lindsay (Bend High Grad) for 17 years and has three children, Halle (16), Henry (13), and Harper (10). Geoff enjoys exploring the outdoors with his family, baseball, and cooking.

Fiduciary Advisor
Chief Strategy Officer

Louis Bennett

A fifth-generation Oregonian, Louis moved to Bend in 1995.

He graduated from Bend High in 2003, and attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego.

There he played college golf and graduated with a
degree in Business Administration (concentration in Finance. His work career began as a golf professional which spanned nearly a decade, serving as the Head Pro at Broken Top Club and Tetherow Resort here in Bend. Realizing that in order to continue his ascent in the golf industry that he’d likely have to move his family, and desiring to help people on a deeper level, he made a huge career change and joined the Copia team in February of 2016, and became partner a year later. He enjoys statistical analysis, strategic planning, working in a team environment, and coaching/mentoring/leadership roles.

Louis married his wife, Marrisa (a born-and-raised Bendite), in 2011, and they are proud parents of Jordyn (17), Cambria (9) and Silas (7). He still enjoys playing golf as much as he can, exploring the outdoors with his family, and coaching a variety of sports for kids of all ages, including coaching the Varsity & JV Boys Golf team at Bend High.

FIDUCIARY ADVISOR
PRESIDENT

Aaron Boehm

Aaron has built a successful financial services firm with a simple mindset: he puts relationships first.

Aaron is the President and Fiduciary Advisor of Copia Wealth Management in Bend, Oregon.

With over 20 years of experience, he has managed over $500 million in client assets and has helped hundreds of families reach their financial goals. Having started his career working on the 61st floor of the World Trade Center in New York City, Aaron now enjoys his street-level office in the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon. But it’s the relationships he has cultivated with clients and firm partners that make Copia what it is today.

Besides serving as a fiduciary to his clients, Aaron also loves coaching baseball at various youth levels. He has been a member of the Summit High School Varsity staff for the past seven years and has run a competitive travel team for both of his boys during this same time. Most importantly, 100% of all the athletes Aaron has coached at the Varsity level have graduated from high school and the team has led the State of Oregon for team GPA five out of the past six years. Go Storm!

When he isn’t sitting on a ball bucket in the yard rooting for the boys, Aaron loves spending time with his wife Katie, sons Nolan (15) and Miles (12), and all their friends. Simple barbecues and backyard games are frequent around the Boehm home in the summers. Aaron is also very active and enjoys golf, fishing, white water rafting, and any other adventures his friends are up for.