Investment Strategy View: Earnings Strength


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Changing Seasons

Every year around this time, one can feel the seasons change. The coldest months are for the most part behind us, and our minds shift ahead to the coming spring. Parallels can be drawn to markets as well. Earnings come and go, and investors’ focus quickly shifts from the end of one quarters’ results to the fast-approaching next set of results on the horizon. That’s where we find ourselves today, with 99% of the S&P 500 having reported this season.

Coming into the Q4 2023 earnings season, consensus estimates were looking for year-over-year growth of 3.0%. That would have been slightly lower than the 4.3% we got in Q3, but still positive overall. Instead, we got earnings growth of about 10%, as almost every sector recorded stronger-than-expected results.

Changing Seasons

On average, 67% of companies tend to beat consensus estimates, so a surprise on the upside isn’t necessarily shocking. Instead, what’s particularly surprising is how they beat forecasts: While the revenue surprise rate was mostly in-line with the historical average, the earnings surprise rate was comfortably above it. This suggests that companies continue to be able to cut costs and/or raise prices beyond what market watchers thought possible. While it’s fair to wonder how much longer corporate America will be able to expand its profit margins, that day has decidedly not come just yet. In terms of where the surprises came from, the answer is more of what one might guess, which would be cyclical sectors and areas exposed to innovative themes that everyone has been talking about – artificial intelligence and weight-loss drugs.

Pulling Forward

Given the upside surprise in earnings that we just got, estimates for upcoming quarters should be revised up, right? Not necessarily. While the past quarter saw earnings per share come in $2.4/share above the estimate at the start of the year, Q1 and Q2 2024 earnings are now expected to be $1.1 and $0.7 lower than what was initially thought, respectively. This indicates that some of last quarter’s strength likely came from pulling forward future earnings, which could just be a reshuffling and nothing to be too concerned about. At least that seems to be the consensus view, since earnings estimates for Q3 are flat while Q4 has actually been revised higher, despite the weaker estimates in the first half of the year.


The Magnificent Seven stocks were responsible for almost all of the earnings growth we got in Q4, as earnings growth for the “S&P 493” was barely positive. The Magnificent Seven are expected to notch EPS growth of over 39%, while other companies are expected to see earnings contract by 2.5%. But interestingly, the S&P 493 is expected to see stronger earnings growth as the year goes on, narrowing the gap between mega cap tech and everything else. A broadening out of earnings growth would be a welcome addition to this cycle.


Consensus estimates are currently pretty optimistic, and if 2024 plays out like that stocks could do pretty well.

Considering that more than two-thirds of U.S. GDP comes from consumer spending, the health of the consumer will play a big role in whether these optimistic expectations are met. The availability of jobs, wage growth, and price pressures are some factors that affect people’s willingness to spend. Though demand has remained healthy, it has come off the boil from earlier in the cycle, not least due to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes in its fight against inflation. While Fed officials have acknowledged that improvements in inflation data have been promising, they’ve indicated that they need to see more before they can begin to cut interest rates. And with stocks hovering near all-time highs, speculative corners of the market are growing stronger.


So long as the Fed maintains its hawkish stance, it will likely remain a key risk for both markets and the growth outlook. Markets are learning not to get ahead of themselves with rate cut expectations. Until the Fed signals a move toward normalizing interest rates, it’s hard to give the all-clear signal.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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The Best Guns for Investors

The Best Guns for Investors

Gun ownership is a hot topic. No doubt you’ve got your own opinions on whether gun ownership should be restricted or not.

However, gun control is not the subject of this post. Instead, you’ll learn about the best guns to collect for investment.

Well-made guns that have been looked after can retain their value. If the collectible gun has historical value, it often increases in value even more. This means that investing in guns can be worthwhile. 

In this post, you will learn about all the different ways to build wealth by investing in guns.

Ivan Kocha/istockphoto

Buying and selling guns or ammunition is often lucrative. You can make money from cheap guns by stocking up to resell them when prices go up. 

Finding collectible firearms that are in good condition is another investment strategy gun investors use. That’s because these guns often go up in value. Provided they’ve been looked after, the value of an antique gun rarely goes down.


Generally, the best guns to collect for investment will be guns that are in excellent condition. They’ll also have historical significance or be made by a gun maker with a strong reputation in the gun industry.

Collectible firearms can be expensive. That means you must know what you’re looking for before making purchases. Otherwise, you could end up wasting money.

Choosing which guns to invest in can be tricky. You can either invest in a particular type of gun or be more general. For example, you might focus on building a gun collection around a specific type of gun. A shotgun, pistol, semi-automatic pistol, or assault rifle are a few types of guns you can base a gun collection on. 

Alternatively, as a gun collector, you may decide to build a gun collection focusing on a particular gun maker. Wesson brands, Sturm Ruger, and Winchester are some well-known gun brands you may focus on when you start gun collecting.

Here are a few gun investment ideas to consider:

  • Guns that have a proven history of a famous gun owner
  • Well-maintained guns still in their original packaging
  • Old guns that still look like new
  • Guns made by a famous gun maker

Arthit Pornpikanet/iStock

Investing in guns made by famous gunsmiths is a popular strategy. That’s because you’ll always find buyers for them. Plus, if you look after the guns, the value often goes up.

One of the most prolific gun inventors was John Browning. Many of the weapons he designed are still in use today, including the M2 heavy machine gun.

Other notable gunsmiths include:

  • Samuel Colt
  • Dr. Richard Gatling
  • John Garand
  • Eugene Stoner
  • Mikhail Kalashnikov

You’ll recognize most of those names as they are used to identify the weapons they created. Any guns created by famous gunsmiths like these are highly collectible firearms. That makes them a great investment for a gun collector.


Gun investment means buying guns that will sell for a profit at some point in the future. It doesn’t matter if it’s an expensive gun or lots of cheap guns, guns made by reputable gun makers usually go up in value.

For example, the Winchester model of rifles is popular with gun collectors. A Winchester rifle is a repeating rifle that loads every bullet from a reservoir chamber. This could be either through a manual or an automatic mechanism.

Other famous gun makers include:

  • Smith & Wesson and other Wesson brands
  • Remington
  • Sturm Ruger, & Co.
  • Sig Sauer
  • O.F. Mossberg & Sons
  • Savage Arms
  • Beretta
  • Glock

It’s worth investing in historically important guns as they often rise in value. A collectible gun could be one that was used in a war. Guns used in the American civil war or one of the world wars often sell well. 

If the previous gun owner was a person of historical significance, this makes the gun investment more worthwhile.

By looking after the guns, you can get a good return when you sell them in the future. Here are a few examples of gun sales that have reached staggering amounts.

:Oleg Elkov/iStock

A Colt Single Action Army revolver that once belonged to former United States President Teddy Roosevelt sold for $1.4 million. Incredibly, this gun sale was more than double the expected amount. The auction house had estimated that the firearm owned by Teddy Roosevelt would sell for up to $550,000. A good day for both the seller and the auction house.

On his 50th birthday, Adolf Hitler was given a 7.65mm Walther PP. The pistol was crafted by German gun manufacturer Carl Walther. Not only was the pistol made from gold, but it had ivory grips with the initials ‘AH’ inscribed on them. At auction, the gun sale for Hitler’s Golden Gun reached $114,000.

During the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette gifted George Washington a pair of flintlock saddle pistols. George Washington carried the pistols throughout the revolution and his presidency and kept them until the day he died. 

The next gun owner was none other than the 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. He took ownership of the pistols until he later returned them to the Lafayette family. George Washington’s saddle pistols have had many owners over the years and were last sold at a gun sale in 2002 for $1,986,000

Gun collecting can take many forms. Your goal is always the same. To find cheap guns that will make you a profit in the future. Old guns in good condition can be exactly what you need. They may have seen action in the Civil War, World War II, or the American Revolution. 

Any antique gun can be a collectible gun. That’s because these weapons retain value if looked after.


The US army used the Colt Single Action Army revolver from the 1870s. The reliable handgun is a highly collectible gun. Thanks to this handgun being popular with the US army, many of them have been used in active wars or have had a famous gun owners.

Hmaag/Wikimedia Commons

Luger pistols, sometimes called Parabellum pistols, were used by the Nazis in World War II. Collectors of military memorabilia often look for guns used in wars, and World War II guns are popular. Buying Lugers with a history of ownership in Nazi Germany can be profitable.

Wolfmann/WIkimedia Commons

If you’re new to gun collecting, here are a few tips to help you get started.


People that buy guns and ammo for hunting or self-defense aren’t thinking about the future value. Instead, they need a gun that does the job for a price they can afford.

A gun collector needs to view guns differently. You aren’t buying guns to use daily. When you’re searching for guns to invest in you, want to focus on guns that will increase in value. Many guns do go up in value if looked after. That’s especially true if they’re made by a popular gun manufacturer or have historical significance.


Guns and ammo should always be kept securely stored in gun safes. That’s often a requirement of gun ownership to reduce the risk of accidents or of theft.

Another reason to make sure your guns are safely stored using gun safes is to protect their value. Guns and ammo can easily get damaged if not looked after. Damaged guns lose value, so if you want your investment to grow, keep those guns safe.


The US has a well-documented history of gun violence. A mass shooting can happen anywhere at any time. For this reason, gun law is reviewed regularly. States also impose their own gun law with varying restrictions. Many require law enforcement do background checks before you’re allowed to own any gun.

Restrictions you may face include the type of weapon you’re allowed to own. Some states may let you own any type of gun. Others ban the ownership of specific guns, such as any classed as an assault weapon.

The National Firearms Act takes gun control one step further. Under the National Firearms Act buying a machine gun, shotgun, assault rifle, or other listed weapons requires registration with the federal government.

Although the National Firearms Act is intended to help reduce gun violence, opponents argue that this level of gun control is an invasion of privacy.

The bottom line is that whether you buy an expensive gun, antique gun, assault rifle, or any other type of gun, you must check all relevant laws, including local laws. For example, residents of New Jersey probably have different laws from residents of Texas.

If you don’t check applicable gun laws, then law enforcement might confiscate your weapons, and you could get a criminal record.

Millions of gun sales happen every day. Most of these are by reputable gun traders. However, like in any industry, there are scammers out there.

Before buying any gun, you must do thorough research. Start by checking the gun. Look at its condition and check the serial number. This data can be used to verify any claims of previous gun ownership.

You must take care to check the provenance. Scammers may show fake certificates of authenticity. Check online or with other gun dealers if you suspect the provenance isn’t genuine.

photographer / iStock

If you can, make sure to make all your gun sales with reputable sellers. Scammers will happily sell you a reproduction as they just want quick cash. They don’t care about repeat business.

A reputable seller wants repeat business. They also hope to get new business thanks to word of mouth.

Buying from reputable sellers is recommended. Using trusted gun sellers makes you much less likely to fall victim to a scam. 


You may not be comfortable owning a gun. Perhaps you’ve got kids at home, and you don’t want to take any risk of an accident at home. Or, god forbid, they use your gun for a mass shooting.

Instead of buying guns, you can still make money from guns and ammo by investing in gun stocks.

In the US, there are 2 publicly traded firearm companies you can choose to invest in. They are:

  1. Wesson Holding Corp
  2. Sturm Ruger, & Co.

Although gun stocks to invest in are limited, you have many more choices regarding ammo. 

Every gun needs a bullet. Most guns need more than 1 bullet. That means investing in an ammunition manufacturer can be a better long-term strategy than gun manufacturers.

One option is to use a financial institution to plan your investment strategy. Once you’ve given the financial institution your personal information, they’ll handle your investment portfolio. This might include weapons manufacturers. If you prefer not to invest directly, then using a financial institution to do it for you is a good option.

Wesson Holding Corp

Collectible guns are a good investment. However, you do need patience. That’s because any guns you buy won’t jump in value overnight. If you’re happy to make a long-term investment, then collectible guns are an excellent choice.


Many factors play a part in how collectible a gun is. Was it owned by someone famous? Has the gun been used in a war? For example, the civil war? Is the gun in good condition?

All these and more play into a gun’s collectability. Any type of gun can be collectible. An assault weapon, machine gun, handgun, semi-automatic pistol, or shotgun all have collectors.


Any gun can be a good investment. It depends on the gun. You could have just as much success buying cheap guns as an expensive guns. The key is to do thorough research and buy guns you’re confident will rise in value.


To safely and legally store your gun collection, you are usually required to use gun safes. Local law enforcement will often do checks to ensure you are complying with gun law for your area. By following these laws, authorities hope to reduce gun violence and reduce the risk of mass shootings.

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This article originally appeared on Lifeupswing and was syndicated by MediaFeed.



Featured Image Credit: tadamichi/istockphoto.