Walter L. Woodrick

Where do we go from here?

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average near 40,000 and interest rates higher than we have seen in decades, where do interest rates and the stock markets go from here? And when? And by how much? Will the path be smooth or bumpy? Why? Let’s be honest – you probably don’t know the answer to these questions. 

To reciprocate your honesty: While I feel I can answer some of them generally, I cannot answer all of them specifically. There are people, and most of them have a profit motive to sell subscriptions or obtain assets under management, who will tell you they know. Some of them say it very loudly and persuasively. And, if they keep saying the same thing long enough, they may eventually be correct. In math, a positive number times a negative number will produce a negative number. Similarly, the right answer at the wrong time is wrong.

The stock markets: Stock market indices (like the Dow Jones) help to give us some idea of how a basket of stocks has performed. Just because an index is down, it does not mean that it will go up and vice versa. And just because we are at/near all-time highs, we cannot conclude that the markets will continue to move up or go down. This means that one must employ statistically-based prudence in creating, monitoring, and altering one’s portfolio in combination with a clear understanding of one’s time frame and risk tolerance. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Hasty speculation brings poverty; steady plodding brings prosperity.” The markets’ increases have silently increased the risk in most portfolios. At times, it makes sense to say, “thank you” to the markets and move some of the profits to other investments in order to rebalance a portfolio and reduce or limit risk. Bonds may be a good replacement.

Interest rates: Inflation appears to be slowing, but the Fed has not cut interest rates yet. If you’ve never invested in bonds, now might be the time to get a good education on the asset class. A bond is basically a promise to pay from a government or a corporation, can be bought and sold at a profit or loss, can be guaranteed or not, and can have maturity dates from a few days to a few decades.

Here’s the main question for You: when would you like to lock-in your ability to receive attractive interest payments? When interest rates are high? Or when interest rates are low? Good job! You would want to lock them in when they are high. If interest rates may be moving lower, instead of only considering bank certificates of deposit of 18 months or less, it may make sense to consider longer-term bonds that have the potential to outperform over the long term.

Gulf County resident Walter L. Woodrick is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, and author of two books. His website is You can text Walter at 850.724.1369. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision. Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. 558746-1

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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