2023 Market Year in Review: We Survived
With just a few days left in 2023, it’s always fun to look back on the year that was before looking ahead to 2024. As a long-time investor, I can honestly say this was one of the most challenging trading years I’ve experienced. From the bear market in January to the bull market rally to the September correction and the resurgence at the end of the year, this has been a roller coaster of a year.
But as with every year, my portfolio saw some winners and losers. I added new positions and reduced some older ones. Overall, it was a good year but I speak for everyone when I say we all have a few more gray hairs. Here are two stocks that were not my biggest winners but they proved to be stocks that emerged as leaders in my portfolio.
I was lucky enough to get back into Coinbase near its lows, but I never imagined the returns it would have this year. In 2023, shares of COIN have returned more than 420%. The main catalyst is the emergence of the industry from its multi-year crypto winter and the anticipated approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in early 2024.
But Coinbase isn’t just relying on these tailwinds, the company is putting together a solid business. In the face of regulatory scrutiny in the United States, Coinbase has set its sights internationally and has established operations in Canada, Spain, France, and Ireland. As Europe moves towards its MiCA regulatory clarity next year, more crypto companies are shifting their focus to the Eurozone. Coinbase is also the custodian for most of the financial institutions applying for spot Bitcoin ETFs. These include companies like Blackrock and Fidelity. This positions Coinbase as the trusted crypto company for the traditional finance sector.
Should I trim some of my gains? Probably. But this isn’t an article on how I’m trading it or how I think it will perform next year. Coinbase was an easy winner for me this year and it should continue to outperform in 2024.
SoFi (NASDAQ: SOFI)
SoFi hasn’t provided the same type of returns as Coinbase has this year, but I still think it is worth mentioning as a winner. The stock has returned over 115% in 2023, although in terms of dollar value, this is a lot less than Coinbase.
But there’s a lot to like for SoFi as we move into 2024. The stock dipped to as low as $4.24 per share this year so the buying opportunity was certainly there if you had conviction in the company. Many expect SoFi to reach profitability in 2024 which is a major step for a fintech company. From there, SoFi will be able to scale its business and services and even potentially pay a dividend in the future.
SoFi also announced a new partnership with Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest recently and was a popular choice for people when there was the momentary fragility in banks earlier this year. SoFi is a long-term hold for me and I’m glad I was able to stick with my position this year even as the stock dipped to new lows.