The fourth quarter of 2023 was a fantastic lesson in the benefits of “staying the course.” The markets began the quarter in a declined state across stocks and bonds, both international and domestic. Little did investors know, there was a rally about to ensue that provided stock returns of over 12% in US markets – in one quarter! Bonds also rallied with the US bond market providing a nearly 7% return for the quarter. The winner though was the global real estate market with a return of over 15%. The lesson here is that market returns rarely happen at a consistent pace, and further, the big returns often happen at unexpected times. The key is to stay invested and to stick to your plan. This way you’ll be there to reap the benefits whenever they may arise.