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Columbus Wealth Management Quarterly Update - 2024 Q1

Thank you for following our newsletter! In an effort to keep our communication with you more frequent and not as lengthy, we are removing the educational topics from our quarterly updates and will release them when the information will be most useful instead of once a quarter. Please be sure you are signed up to receive notifications any time we post by visiting this page (you will see a box at the top to sign up). We greatly value your feedback on all that we do, and this change was made as a result of this year’s client survey. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to discuss anything in this post!


Columbus Wealth Management Firm Updates

We continue to make updates to our website! We made our home page a bit more concise, while still containing the most pertinent information and links to pages with more details. We also made updates to our services page, with a slideshow containing a summary of the most common services we offer. Lastly, we added a Frequently Asked Questions Page. While the information here is nothing new to our existing clients, we hope it is something helpful to share with your family and friends who might be interested in working with us!


Market update & Investment Commentary

Data as of 3/31/2024 (unless stated otherwise)


US Markets

We continue to see strong equity market performance in the first three months of 2024, with the S&P 500 up 10.6% and a portfolio containing 60% of the S&P 500 index and 40% of the Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond index up 6%. The performance dispersion between the “Magnificent 7” (AAPL, AMZN, GOOG, META, MSFT, NVDA, and TSLA) and the rest of the US equity market persists, with the top 7 returning 13% so far this year and the remaining 493 stocks in the S&P 500 returning 6%. However, the gap has narrowed significantly from what we saw in 2023 (76% for the top 7 and 8% for the rest). Overall, we think this reduces risk inherent in the benchmark (which is weighted by market cap), in addition to the active management and other diversification strategies we employ in our portfolios at Columbus Wealth Management.


International Markets

On the international front, developed markets (as measured by the MSCI EAFE) have returned about 5.9% in USD terms, but interestingly, the index has returned much closer to the S&P 500 in local currency terms at about 10.1%. Japan’s market in particular (MSCI Japan) is thriving, with local returns of 19.3% YTD. US investors with international holdings benefit from additional returns when the dollar weakens against international currencies and realize lower returns when the dollar strengthens.


2024 Q1 Asset Class Returns



Headline CPI Inflation (year-over-year) has declined markedly from the high of 9.06% recorded in June 2022 down to the latest reading of 3.15% in February 2024, but has flatlined in recent months. Housing costs and insurance remain among the most stubborn components of inflation. We expect the Federal Reserve will avoid large reductions in target short-term interest rates until we see further declines in inflation, deterioration in the labor market, or other signs of an economic downturn. Rates are currently being held at a range of 5.25% - 5.5%.

2024 Q1 Inflation

Labor Market

On the labor market, we are still seeing jobs added at a relatively strong rate (275,000 Nonfarm Payroll gains in February), and the unemployment rate is now at 3.9%. As can be seen in the chart below, there are around 8.76M job openings available to about 5.85M people seeking jobs, at a ratio of 1.5. Of course, the stability of the labor market is vital to consumer spending (which makes up around 2/3 of GDP), and therefore the economy overall. This is especially true now, as households have been pressured by high interest rates, growing debt, and inflation, which has exceeded wage growth in many cases. We’ve also seen consumers spend down most of their surplus cash accumulated during the pandemic in an effort to keep up with the rising cost of living and with a lack of ongoing fiscal stimulus.

2024 Q1 Employment Situation


All-in-all, the economy remains healthy, and market performance has been strong. That doesn’t mean we can rule out volatility ahead, especially with November elections approaching and various geopolitical concerns still present. However, we feel it’s best (as always) to stick with the strategic plan you and your advisor have worked hard to develop and remain invested per the guidelines of your Investment Policy Statement. At the end of the day, it’s best to focus on what you can control by regulating spending, investing consistently, and planning for the occasional rainy day, as doing so is the best way for us to prepare for scenarios that are out of our control. If you have any questions or concerns, we are always here for you!


Important Disclosure Information:

Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Columbus Wealth Management, [“CWM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from CWM. CWM is neither a law firm, nor a certified public accounting firm, and no portion of the commentary content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of our current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available upon request or at Please Remember: If you are a CWM client, please contact CWM, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please also remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.


Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results.  It should not be assumed that your CWM account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your CWM accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.



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