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: The biggest — and maybe the best — financial resolution for 2023

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Happy New Year! We’re getting started a bit early, and for many people it will be good to have a second straight Monday off from work on Jan 2.

More than half of Americans making resolutions to begin 2023 are determined to improve their financial health, according to a poll by Numerator. The top five financial resolutions all require action.

Anyone can face financial challenges beyond their control — you probably don’t know how much a raise you will get (if any) in 2023. You also probably cannot predict if you will lose your job. But you can be better prepared for any financial problem if you take a hard look at your own spending. What sacrifices can you make to improve your financial fortunes, or those of your family?

Here are some ideas:

In keeping with tradition: Turn your New Year’s resolution into a cooking habit that could add 13 healthy years to your life

How much do you know about the biggest financial stories of 2022?

MarketWatch photo illustration/Getty Images, iStockphoto

Take MarketWatch’s year-end quiz. The answers are at the bottom of this Need to Know column, which also includes a look way back at how the stock market has performed following broad declines.

A look back at financial markets in 2022

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The S&P 500 index
SPX,
-1.08%

fell nearly 20% for 2022 through midday on Dec. 30. Meanwhile, a combination of policy moves by the Federal Reserve to fight inflation led to a record-setting selloff for bonds. The yield on two-year U.S. Treasury notes
TMUBMUSD02Y,
4.423%

rose to 4.45% from 0.73% at the end of 2021.

In this environment, value stocks outperformed growth stocks by a very wide margin.

Here’s a list of the 20 worst-performing stocks of 2022. The article also includes a second list of companies whose dollar valuations declined the most — one may be a surprise.

More 2022 year-end coverage:

How might your investments be affected by a recession in 2023?

MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

Bond-market investors expect a recession. Ten-year U.S. Treasury notes
TMUBMUSD10Y,
3.879%

were yielding 3.89% on Dec. 30, far below the two-year yield, above. This shows investors expect the Fed will be forced to lower interest rates to help the economy out of recession. That type of move would automatically raise bond prices, with a greater effect on long-term paper.

If the bond investors are correct, what will happen to stocks during a recession? Iabel Wang outlines three possible recession scenarios for stock investors in 2023.

Joseph Adinolfi shares five stock-market ‘early indicators’ that could decide the fate of your portfolio in 2023.

Bill Peters looks at what retailers are doing to prepare for a recession.

Stock-market approaches for 2023

Consumer spending may be the most important indicator for investors to watch in 2023, according to Bob Elliott of Unlimited Funds.

MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

Here are some approaches that may work well, based on the opinions of money managers and analysts:

What will happen with crypto regulation in 2023?

The price of bitcoin in U.S. dollars has dropped 64% in 2022.

FactSet

The world of virtual currencies could only be described as chaotic in 2022, including the meltdown of TerraUSD
USTUSD,
-2.98%

and Luna in May, a 64% decline for bitcoin
BTCUSD,
-0.25%

(its worst year since 2018) and the continuing saga of FTX, Alameda and Sam Bankman-Fried. Bitoin

Any virtual coin is a risky “investment,” not only because it is not backed by any government or central bank, but because it doesn’t represent ownership in, or an obligation of, a revenue-generating enterprise. There is also the operational risk of holding virtual coins in an account — especially one managed outside the U.S. or another large developed economy.

So what may be in store for crypto regulation in 2023? Anushree Dave explains that Congress needs to address these two questions.

Mark DeCambre, Editor in Chief at MarketWatch, wraps up year-end virtual currency news in this week’s Distributed Ledger column, which features a spat between Mark Cuban and Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital.

It’s Trump Tax Time

Demonstrators rallied in Washington on April 15, 2017, to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns.

Getty Images

In an event that was years in the making, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee released six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns on Dec. 30. Greg Robb covers initial reactions and deeper looks into how much (or how little) Trump paid in federal income taxes and why.

Related:

Trump’s ultralow tax payments are what happens when government tries to make policy through the tax code

Only the richest ancient Athenians paid taxes—and they bragged about it

Where can I find an affordable house near water where it is quiet?

Kingston, N.Y. might fit the bill for a retiree who wishes to be near water while also keeping the home price down.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

In the Where Should I Retire? column, Jessica Hall helps a reader who has a home budget of $350,000, wants to be near water and preferably on the East Coast. Here are three possibilities.

Check out MarketWatch’s retirement location tool for your own custom search. It includes data for more than 3,000 U.S. counties and incorporates climate risk.

A very important company keeps hoping for peace

Some of the worst industrial shortages of the coronavirus pandemic resulted from a disruption in the supply of various types of computer chips. In a Project Syndicate column, Jason Hsu calls Taiwan Semiconductor
TSM,
-2.73%

“the world’s most important company,” because it makes about 65% of semiconductors and about 90% of high-end chips. He then explains what steps TSM it is taking to lower its risk amid tensions between the U.S. and China, over Taiwan’s independence.

Some relief for borrowers in 2023

Happy senior woman greeting with her supporters while running a marathon on the road.

Getty Images

President Joe Biden signed the Secure 2.0 Act on Dec. 29. The legislation includes many changes to retirement-account rules and even some potential relief for people with student loans, as Jessica Hall explains.

Paul Brandus looks into how the legislation can help part-time workers and considers other proposals being discussed in Congress.

Jillian Berman explains what may be in store for people with student debt in 2023, as Biden’s relief efforts are challenged in the courts.

Will 2023 mark the beginning of a new iPhone-like transition for tech?

ChatGPT has tech watchers brimming with enthusiasm over its promise to change the way people search for and process information.

MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

Therese Poletti looks into ChatGPT, a new AI technology that is garnering praise for its revolutionary potential. The big question is whether or not the new technology will be profitable, in the wake of previous failed efforts, such as IBM’s Watson.

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