What's ahead for markets and investors in 2024?

Tue 21 Nov 23, 10:38am (AEDT)
Outlook binoculars positive
Source: Shutterstock

Key Points

  • Investors are optimistic about 2024, with most predicting a return to a more "normal" investing environment
  • Artificial intelligence is seen as a major investment theme, with BlackRock believing it holds significant potential for US-based small- and mid-capitalization companies
  • The role of bonds within portfolios is expected to shift, with duration being the biggest consideration for fixed income investors in 2024

As the end of another year barrels into sight, some of the greatest minds in the investment world have turned their minds (and their keyboards) to what 2024 might hold.

We’ve collated a raft of the 2024 outlook statements and across the 12 listed below, there’s a wide variety of views – especially given many are composed of contributions from cross-disciplinary teams operating in diverse global markets. But there are a handful of common threads that run throughout many of them, including:

A shift back toward “normal” investing

On a broad basis, the view from most of them is that 2024 is likely to be better than 2023 on the macroeconomic front. One of the few exceptions on this front was from Fidelity, which holds an against-consensus view that next year will bring a cyclical recession.

But across most, the overarching view is that the prospect of global recession is far lower than many people might think. There’s also a view that next year may mark a more “normal” investing landscape than we’ve seen since before the Global Financial Crisis

Artificial intelligence hasn’t yet scratched the surface

In terms of investment themes, AI was mentioned frequently in the 2024 outlook statements, with an overarching view we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of this theme. BlackRock believes this holds powerful implications for companies, particularly US-based small- and mid-capitalisation companies.

Bonds versus equities

The shifting role of bonds within portfolios was also a common theme, especially given the bond yield rally of 2023. But the broadly held view is that duration is the biggest consideration on fixed income investor radars in 2024.

International markets

Emerging markets received some attention within the outlook statements too, including of course China. The most common view is that the outlook for China in 2024 is challenging but less so than many people expect. India also rates a mention in several of the outlook statements.

Within the developed world, European markets more broadly, and the UK specifically, were tipped for a particularly difficult 2024.

In summary, some of the more hopeful lines come from the Barclays outlook: “It is important not to underestimate the private sector’s ability to adjust and navigate uncertain times. On that front, there appear to be rays of hope.”

“Unlike 12 months ago, many investors and forecasters are somewhat downbeat about what lies ahead. While this in itself is not enough to prevent a slowdown, it leaves plenty of room for positive surprises.”

Outlook statements list

  1. Goldman Sachs – Macro Outlook 2024: The Hard Part Is Over 

  2. Neuberger Berman – Solving for 2024: 10 key themes to navigate the markets

  3. BlackRock – 2024 Thematic Outlook: Three themes to get investors off the sidelines 

  4. UBS – The outlook for equities in 2024 

  5. J.P.Morgan Wealth Management – 2024 elections 

  6. Morgan Stanley – The 2024 Outlook

  7. Fidelity International – The economy in 2024: Something will give

  8. BNP Paribas Asset Management – Investment Outlook: Stepping into a new reality

  9. Lazard – Global Outlook 2024

  10. Barclays Private Bank – Outlook 2024 

  11. Vanguard – Our investment and economic outlook, November 2023

  12. S&P Global – The Big Picture: 2024 M&A Industry Outlook

  13. PIMCO – Prime Time for Bonds

This article was first published on Livewire Markets.

Written By

Glenn Freeman

Content Editor

Glenn is a Content Editor at Livewire Markets and Market Index. Glenn has almost 20 years’ experience in financial services writing and editing. Glenn’s journalistic experience also spans energy and automotive, in both Australia and abroad – including the Middle East – where he edited an oil and gas publication in the United Arab Emirates.

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