Market wrap: The worst-performing stocks on the ASX


We all know that investing is an important part of securing your financial future by helping you to reach your goals including in retirement. Yet, so many still rely on some level of government pension to get by even after accounting for superannuation.

So why don't most invest more outside of superannuation to have a better lifestyle in retirement.

The top two reasons are due to a lack of knowledge and fear. Fear causes many to do nothing and we all know where that gets us.

asx market wrap

Robert Schuller once said that it is better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing perfectly, and I tend to agree. If you invest imperfectly, it is highly likely you'll be better off financially in the future than if you do nothing.

Investing your money means you'll earn higher returns than if you keep your money in a savings account, but many don't even get to enjoy the rewards of that because they have a short-term focus, which leads to the third reason why people don't invest.

In other words, individuals are so focused on their immediate expenses and wants, they spend all of their money and leave nothing to invest.

Doing nothing is easy, that's why so many people do it. But all too often, we see people in their 50s or even later come to us in fear of retirement because they have done nothing. This is the point where the fear of continuing to do nothing outweighs the fear of investing.

The solution to creating a better lifestyle now and in retirement is to start with the first reason why people don't invest more and that is a lack of education.

But once you gain an education, all the other reasons why you wouldn't invest collapse one by one. Anyone can pick up a book and read about the basics of money and investing. They can also keep reading until their fear subsides and they start to invest.

I have seen it many hundreds of times with people who have read my book and others who were very fearful of investing but now they're not.

They began their journey of investing and started to reap the rewards by not only creating a better lifestyle for themselves but also a more financially secure future.

What were the best and worst performing sectors last week

The best-performing sectors included Healthcare up 4.81% followed by Information Technology up 4.30% and Consumer Staples up 2.90%. The worst-performing sectors included Materials down 2.18% followed by Energy down 2.14% and Utilities down 0.46%.

The best-performing stocks in the ASX top 100 included Charter Hall up 10.80% followed by SEEK Ltd up 9.81% and James Hardy Industries up 9.54%. The worst-performing stocks included IGO down 7.40% followed by Insurance Australia Group down 6.89% and Incitec Pivot down 6.30%.

What's next for the Australian stock market

In just 22 trading days so far in 2023, the All Ordinaries Index has really stunned many investors, as it has traded up 8.98% and is still rising. On four of those days, it closed lower while on three it failed to break the high of the previous day, but by any measure, the market had a stellar rise in January.

So, is the market's performance in January an indication of things to come? If we look back at the past 10 years, the market rose five times in January and fell five times.

Of the five where the market fell, only once did it end the year down. In the four years prior to 2023 where it rose, the All Ordinaries Index finished the year higher on three occasions.

While we have to wait until the end of this year to see what transpires, the data is pretty conclusive that regardless of what happens in January, the probability indicates that the market will rise. Given this, it is safe to assume that 2023 will finish higher than it opened.

Even with such a strong rise on the stock market, we still need to expect one or two down weeks in the next month before rising to the next major high.

That said, the move up out of the low in October 2022 ran for eight weeks with the market rising 12% before falling away in December 2022. So, while I say we need to expect a fall, it doesn't mean it will occur, but it is far better to expect it than to be surprised by it.

Finally, I am still confident the Australian stock market will trade up and challenge the all-time-high in the not-too-distant future.

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Dale Gillham is chief investment analyst at Wealth Within Limited (AFSL 226347). He also serves as the head trainer at the Wealth Within Institute (RTO 21917). He has more than three decades of experience in the investment industry, and is the author of How to Beat the Managed Funds by 20%, Dale's qualifications include an Advanced Diploma and a Diploma of Share Trading and Investment. He co-hosts the Talking Wealth Podcast, and his work has appeared in The Australian Financial Review, New York Business Journal, Wall Street Select and more.