The Vanguard Economic and Market Outlook for 2022 notes our guarded, though not bearish, long-term equity return outlooks. The course of the year ahead will be influenced by how policymakers remove from still-growing economies the strong fiscal and monetary support that had been required to withstand the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our outlook for fixed income is more sanguine; although interest rates remain historically low, modest rises since 2020 have moved our return outlooks commensurately higher. (A recent Vanguard analysis reveals a silver lining for investors in rising interest rates.)
Policymakers face a balancing act in the months ahead, one that could carry significant implications for economic growth, inflation, and investment returns. Their jobs won’t be easy. Investors, meanwhile, may find their discipline challenged by markets that have approached or already entered corrections, or falls of 10% or more from recent highs.
Our message for investors, as always: Maintain perspective, tune out the day-to-day noise that can lead to impulsive decisions, be true to your goals, and put your faith in a history that has rewarded those who embrace the long term.