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Key Takeaways: Outlook 2024 — America Powers On

From the Goldman Sachs Wealth Management Investment Strategy Group

Individuals 01.12.2024 8 MIN

The Goldman Sachs Wealth Management Investment Strategy Group (ISG) has released their 2024 Outlook — America Powers On.

Watch Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, head of ISG and chief investment officer of Goldman Sachs Wealth Management, review key themes from this year’s Outlook.

2024 Ayco Outlook Takeaways.mp4

Key Takeaways1

US equities continued to outperform other regions in 2023, as they have done since the global financial crisis trough in March 2009. Over this period, ISG’s two primary investment themes of “US Preeminence” and “Stay Invested” have served clients well as the market experienced a ninefold increase in US equities. 

Inevitably, after such a long run of US equity outperformance, clients are asking two questions. First, has the time come to reduce their strategic asset allocation to US equities with a long-term shift toward non-US equities? And second, should they tactically underweight US equities with a short-term shift toward cash, bonds or non-US equities? ISG’s answer to both questions is a resounding no.


US Preeminence

ISG’s long-standing view of US Preeminence remains intact, based on the country’s unparalleled combination of the following factors:

  • Largest economy in the world, currently at 26% of global GDP
  • Highest GDP per capita except for a handful of sparsely populated countries (usually natural resource-rich or tax-haven countries), each representing less than 1% of global GDP
  • Largest, broadest and most liquid financial markets that support economic activity in public and private sectors
  • Most favorable demographics relative to all major countries except India
  • Highest labor productivity
  • Strong culture of promoting and rewarding innovation and risk taking
  • Persistent and diverse corporate earnings growth
  • Extensive natural resources
  • Safe-haven status
  • Resilience


These factors are set to persist into the foreseeable future and endure even in the face of social, cultural and political fissures. In short, America powers on with no sign of others in the rear-view mirror.

Stay Invested

While ISG acknowledges that US equities are expensive, both on an absolute basis and relative to non-US equities, they recommend clients stay invested in US equities at their customized strategic asset allocation weight and not shift toward bonds, cash or non-US equities.

However, ISG does not expect US equities to outperform other equities by the same magnitude; nor do they expect high absolute returns from US equities.

In their Outlook, ISG notes seven key reasons for staying invested in US equities relative to non-US equities:

  • Non-US equities are not as cheap as they appear.
  • Valuation differentials among countries and regions have not been a good predictor of outperformance or underperformance of markets.
  •  US earnings per share (EPS) has grown and will continue to grow at a faster rate than that of most other markets.
  • US equities have less exposure to the slowing economy in China.
  • Faster economic growth in emerging markets has not translated into higher EPS growth, so allocating assets to emerging markets in search of faster earnings growth and better equity market performance has not been an effective strategy.
  • To the extent that generative artificial intelligence increases economic growth rates, the impact on the US is expected to be higher than in other countries.
  • While the US faces its own domestic political tensions and uncertainties, US assets provide a safe haven as the world confronts much higher geopolitical risks in 2024 than it has over the last several decades.

Additional key takeaways from ISG’s 2024 Outlook include:

  • Stable but uneven global growth;
  • Monetary policy easing across most of the globe;
  • A 30% risk of recession in the US for the year ahead;
  • Modest mid-single-digit returns for a 50% stocks–50% bonds benchmark; and
  • Significant geopolitical risks to the outlook, most of which originate from heightened geopolitical tensions and escalating wars.

As usual, ISG will diligently watch for unexpected risk and remain vigilant in search of market opportunities.

For more of ISG’s view, read their Outlook 2024 — America Powers On.

If the Outlook sparks any questions about your personal situation, connect with your Goldman Sachs advisor. Don’t have a Goldman Sachs advisor? Contact us 

Source: Based on the Goldman Sachs Wealth Management Investment Strategy Group 2024 Outlook — America Powers On; Refer to the report for full disclosures.

Advisory services offered by The Ayco Company, L.P. (“Goldman Sachs Ayco), a registered investment advisor and an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC (“GS&Co.”) and subsidiary of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., a worldwide, full-service investment banking, broker-dealer, asset management, and financial services organization. Brokerage services are offered through GS&Co. and Mercer Allied Company, L.P. (a limited purpose broker-dealer), both affiliates of Goldman Sachs Ayco and members FINRA/SIPC

 ** The Investment Strategy Group, part of the Asset & Wealth Management business (“AWM”) of GS, focuses on asset allocation strategy formation and market analysis for GS Wealth Management. Any information that references ISG, including their model portfolios, represents the views of ISG, is not financial research and is not a product of GS Global Investment Research and may vary significantly from views expressed by individual portfolio management teams within AWM, or other groups at GS. Past performance is not indicative of future results which may vary.