By Josh Katzowitz, WCI Content Director

If you had money in the stock market in 2022, you’re likely entering 2023 trying to forget the heartache and pain that the bear market brought to you. Some see a down stock market as an opportunity to buy even more in 2023; some just have to be told over and over again to stay the course. But either way, there was pain (and plenty of funds that were lost).

At the beginning of 2022, not many white coat investors predicted that the year would be such a disaster for stocks and bonds (and crypto!). Some thought the market would perform spectacularly, and some thought Bitcoin would top $100,000. Others made slightly more accurate predictions.

But that’s why making predictions is fun. Because by the time you’re reminded of them many months later, you can’t believe how dumb (or smart) you were when it comes to making guesses about the future (and shows again why using your gut to be the brains of your financial planning operations will usually result in heartache).

That said, let’s have some fun this week. With a new year comes new predictions about what will happen in the next 12 months. If I’ve read it once on the WCI site, I’ve read it a hundred times: “My crystal ball is cloudy, but . . .” Today, let’s finish that sentence.

I’ve asked several of our columnists and other white coat readers for their 2023 crystal ball predictions when it comes to finances, investing, or anything related to money. I didn’t care if it was obvious or outlandish, funny or fiendish. I just want to know what people are prophesizing.

Then, at the end of the year, we’ll revisit this column and see if any of these predictions actually came true. For now, let’s look into the cloudiness and see if we can find anything that’s remotely clear. Here’s what our respondents are saying.


Financial Predictions for 2023


WCI Columnist Dr. Daniel Smith:

  • The Fed will crash the economy harder than a drunk daredevil in a Cessna. Cash will be king as the economy slows to a drip, and bankers fret over possibly having to wait another year to upgrade their G-Wagons.
  • Pressure mounts on Russia, which eventually exits Ukraine with its tail between its legs and missing either Crimea or Georgia; Putin challenges Joe Biden to arm wrestling to prove Russia's superiority. The EU generously props up beleaguered Ukraine with cheap debt while simultaneously starting it on the path to membership. This debt weakens foreign currencies and boosts the dollar's purchasing power, making our Fed's hard landing less painful. China, seeing Russia thusly chastened, cools the bellicosity toward independent nations it considers part of mainland China (Taiwan)—its attention turned instead to the tottering yet behemoth property developer, Evergrande.
  • Savvy WCIers pour money into stocks as uncertainty and fear grip average investors.
  • Elon Musk announces the Tesla Model F, short for frog, which navigates dry land and (inland) water as well; purchasers of the Model F still manage to look smug despite driving a glorified station wagon named after a warty amphibian.


WCI Columnist Dr. Rikki Racela:

I have to quote Clubber Lang in Rocky III, “Prediction? . . . Pain.” Actually, I think the pain will be over. I am an eternal optimist, and considering the average bear market lasts 388 days, I say in 2023 we bounce back from the bear market and get back to new all-time highs by the end of 2023. I also predict one day in 2023 that my son will finally not hit his sister.

2023 crystal ball predictions


Dr. Vaughn Johnson, an orthodontist from Colorado

  • The Dow will finish at 33,851 (as of early January, the Dow was nearly 34,000).
  • Inflation will end the year at 4.2% (as of December 2022, inflation was 7.3%).
  • Massive selloff in TIPS during Q3.
  • WCI podcasts and newsletter properties acquired by Bloomberg in Q4. Will result in rebranding as “Wild Crypto Investor”—discussion of index funds will be prohibited in the Facebook group.
  • Dr. Jim Dahle begins his retirement transition as a public relations spokesperson for Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and he will advocate for Humpback Chub protection.


WCI Columnist Dr. Margaret Curtis:

  • Inflation will stay high but not reach double digits. The stock market will continue to have bucking-bronco moments but overall will continue growth. The housing market will continue to correct. I don't think we are going into a full-blown recession: there, I said it.
  • Crypto, like COVID, will become more background and less front-page news.
  • The (alleged) fraud at FTX will come to light, and we will all resolve never to invest in a novelty company with a wunderkind CEO. This will last until 2025, when a new novelty company will emerge.
  • And if we are really lucky: Elon Musk and Twitter will assure each other's destruction.


Scuchy McBuchy, WCI commenter

  • The markets continue to go down, with the next bottom near 3200ish S&P, unless something breaks and swans it even further – which is possible. Recession is here, but in 2023, few will have a problem still lying about it, and the mainstream media will finally admit it. Others will know, reading between all these lines, that we’re closer to a depression. But hey, all these are just terms anyway, I get it.
  • BTC will go down with the markets but will also reach its bottom in the cycle, and at the middle to end of 2023, it will ascend, making new all-time highs in 2024. This move will likely coincide with late year 2023 pivoting by the Fed, which will take a while to affect stocks. But they’ll go up after that too.
  • Major geopolitical heat hits in earnest in 2023. We are already in WWIII, but most just don’t know it or act like it.


WCI Columnist Dr. Charles Patterson:

  • The market will end +/- 5% of where it was at the end of 2022 (the Dow Jones finished that year at 33,147.25).
  • It will be an awesome snow season out west, exemplary for shredding that super-ill pow-pow.
  • Real estate will stagnate, with home prices dropping as interest rates creep to 9%+.
  • Healthcare as a market segment will convulse, as hospital systems across the country roil in deficits exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • Josh Katzowitz will run out of Money Songs of the Week and will have to switch to Famous Money Predictions Gone Awry.
  • The price of building materials will stay the same, as demand cools and inflation remains high.
  • The geopolitical landscape will reflect the poor preparation for energy shortages and ignorance of manufacturing strongholds.
  • My wife will become more patient than ever, as my poorly conceived whim tries her fortitude and wearies her enthusiasm for my misadventures.


Dr. David Spilker, a retired ER doc from California:

S&P reaches all-time highs in the second half of [2023].


WCI Columnist Dr. Joy Eberhardt De Master:

Packaging will get smaller and smaller in an attempt to hide price hikes. Look out for the invisible $5 bag of chips or the $20 bottle of wine “you don’t see.”


Dr. Howard Zhang, a radiologist

    • Fed will continue to increase the rates but much milder than 2022.
    • Inflation will come down slowly but will be a ways from the Fed target of 2%.
    • Bonds will probably remain flat or mildly down or up but less than 2%-3% percent.
    • REIT and US stock will remain flat to mildly down from 2022.
    • Value stocks will continue to beat growth.
    • International stocks will beat US total stock.

Nevertheless, we have been doubling down on our total stock index investment and will remain aggressive until this bear passes. I keep my fingers crossed and hope this bear will last longer.


Dr. Jim Dahle, WCI founder

I hope nobody changes their portfolio based on my predictions for 2023. My crystal ball is always cloudy but feels particularly cloudy right now. Nonetheless, here we go.

  • The stock market is going to finish in the black this year, but that won't be entirely clear until the very end of the year.
  • Publicly traded real estate will outperform private real estate this year.
  • Short-term interest rates will be higher at the end of the year but not dramatically higher. Perhaps 1% higher.
  • The yield curve will no longer be inverted.
  • Inflation will be back under control by the end of the year (under 4%, perhaps even under 2% year over year).
  • Congress will pass very little of substance this year and there will be an immense fight over raising the debt limit.
  • Cryptocurrency will continue to “muddle around” with neither a huge drop nor massive gains. The non-Bitcoin crypto performance will generally be better than Bitcoin this year.
  • Small-value stocks will beat large-growth stocks again.
  • The dollar will continue to be strong compared to other currencies. While international stocks will do fine this year, they won't seem to have done as well as they are really doing due to that strong dollar.


And just in case you’re thinking about any of these predictions other than for entertainment, remember this: nobody knows nothing, and if they pretend to know, they might be proven wrong almost immediately (as noted by Inverse Jim Cramer).


Money Song of the Week

The Money Song of the Week for this week's column doesn’t actually have any lyrics, so it’s highly improbable that this tune is about finances or greed or not having any cash to spend. The reason I’m highlighting Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” performance from Woodstock in 1969 is because I came across this fascinating article from Consequence of Sound about how much each performer was paid to perform at the world’s most famous music festival.

First, let's look at the video for “Soul Sacrifice,” which features some fantastic jamming as Santana’s guitar playing meshes beautifully with the keyboard and bass along with some stellar drumming from Michael Shrieve (who had just turned 20 years old at the time of the show!).

Now, let’s get to the payouts.

Jimi Hendrix had the most famous set of anybody, and the guitar legend reportedly got paid $18,000 for the gig. Considering that’s $146,000 in 2023 money, that seems appropriate. Other fair payments for how legendary the bands were (or became): Creedence Clearwater Revival got $10,000, Janis Joplin got $7,500, Jefferson Airplane got $7,500, and Richie Havens got $6,000.

But in hindsight, some musical acts that went on to become huge got paltry paydays, including Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young ($5,000); The Grateful Dead ($2,500); and Joe Cocker ($1,375). But nobody tops the bad-deal list like Santana, which got paid $750 for the show (a little more than $6,000 in today’s money). And considering there were at least six members in the band, that’s like $125 apiece.

While it’s true that Santana hadn’t even released an album before taking the Woodstock stage and was an unknown, it’s a laughable amount of money for a set that became one of the festival’s most famous. But Santana feels grateful for that moment. And oh by, the way, he was hallucinating while on stage because he was so very high on mescaline.

“You can tell by my body language,” Santana told the New York Times in 2019. “I’m wrestling with the guitar—not wrestling in conflict, but like a surfer, wrestling to maintain and sustain a balance. That’s the key to everything in life. Whether you’re straight or on mescaline, maintain your composure and your balance.”

Pretty good advice for those who like to dabble in finance as well.


Tweet of the Week

Some people like target date retirement funds. Others hate them.

What are your 2023 predictions? Do you agree with any of the above predictions? Or is everybody just simply wrong? Comment below!

[Editor's Note: For comments, complaints, suggestions, or plaudits, email Josh Katzowitz at [email protected].]