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Continuum Insights

Is the Stock Market Just Gambling?

Gambling is in vogue right now. Thanks to the increased prevalence of online betting, bettors wagered a staggering $16 Billion on Super Bowl 57. After a rough 2022 in financial markets, investors are finding it hard to tell the difference between their 401(k) and their online sportsbook account. I cringe whenever I hear somebody say that the stock market is like a casino. Sure, the green and red numbers and the up and down arrows make it *feel* like a casino, but there is one key difference (besides free drinks): the odds are easily in your favor with your investments.

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Examining the Growing Recession Risks

I recently saw data that said there is 100% certainty of a recession this year. In a world of probabilities, I like to avoid absolutes like that. What follows is not a prediction of what I think will happen but rather a look at the other side of the argument.

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Lessons Learned in 2022

I think it is safe to say that this year is not one most people will look back on with affection. We know that, historically, roughly three out of every four years is positive in the stock market. 2019-2021 saw positive annual returns, which simplistically meant we were due this year. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and using simple averages like that is no way to invest your money. My point is that occasionally, we need these resets to flush the system of excesses. It doesn’t make them any more fun to live through, but hopefully, we learned some valuable lessons.

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Preparing Your Investments for 2023 and Beyond

Most people are aware of the basic tenets of Ivan Pavlov’s experiment with dogs. A ringing bell signaled feeding time, and after a while, the dogs would begin to salivate at the sound of a bell. From the end of the Global Financial Crisis, investors had been conditioned similarly to buy anytime the stock market fell by a meaningful amount. The more aggressive one became during these dips, the more they were rewarded in short order. This year has broken that positive feedback loop, maybe for a while.

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The Biggest Surprise of 2022

Markets are difficult. Anyone who says differently is a fool or a liar. Entering this year, many were looking at the potential for inflation to rear its ugly head. However, it has been hard to capitalize. Imagine this: on January 1st, 2022, you were given all the future inflation readings for the year. How would you have invested your money? Gold? Bitcoin (“digital gold”)? Inflation-protected government bonds? The correct answer, and its implications, may surprise you.

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Is Real Estate a Good Investment?

In the middle of a housing boom, especially during a period of high inflation, many people are tempted to explore the idea of investing in real estate. Real estate tends to carry a certain allure due to the concept of passive income, but talk to anyone who owns rental property, and they will tell you it is anything but passive. Like everything else, this decision is not entirely straightforward, and one should be aware of the costs and risks before jumping in.

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