Skip to main content
Add funds
Fund 1
Fund 2
Fund 3
Fund 4
Confirm your location and role
location select
language select
Investment Outlook

2023 4Q outlook: Stay in the game

Global Investment Committee
Soccer player kicking a ball with a dark background

Views from the Global Investment Committee


Key takeaways


Stay in the game: Investing in a late-cycle world

Saira Malik, Chief Investment Officer

Our 2023 midyear outlook, Testing the waters, made the case for a purposeful yet gradual reentry into financial markets for risk-averse investors holding on to large amounts of cash. Today, many investors remain wary of inflation, monetary policy and a possible recession. But while these concerns continue, an important variable has changed: The economic cycle is further along, with the game clock running down. We think a winning investment strategy in this environment calls for getting off the sidelines and positioning portfolios for attractive late-cycle opportunities while they’re still in play.

It’s too soon to know whether the exact nature and timing of the cycle’s resolution will be a foregone conclusion or an odds-defying upset, but markets haven’t been shy about placing their bets and cheering (or jeering) from the stands. Over the summer and leading up to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to hold rates steady in September, our outlook has differed from the consensus on two key points: (1) We believe inflation and interest rates will stay higher for longer, and (2) We don’t expect U.S. rate cuts in early 2024. For now, these views remain aligned with the Fed’s actions and rhetoric, including the possibility of one more rate hike in 2023.

This backdrop suggests a portfolio playbook highlighted by three major themes:

You can’t win if you don’t play. No team wants to forfeit a game by not showing up or by failing to put their best foot forward. And once play begins, victory is more likely if the lineup that’s best-suited to execute specific offensive or defensive maneuvers is on the field when needed most. In investment portfolios, cash can play a useful role, but we don’t think it is the ideal “go-to” asset class for achieving late-cycle outcomes.

Not all income can be scored the same way. Income generation in the current climate will likely require a number of potential contributors, starting with duration. Investors who modestly extend the duration of their fixed income allocation have the potential to lock in attractive yields given what should be a less volatile interest rate environment for the next several quarters. Additionally, generating yield in three different categories — defensive (traditional), alternative (less correlated to economic factors) and credit (greater yield per unit of risk) — allows investors to diversify income sources to meet specific portfolio needs.

Cover the entire field, naturally. Beyond certain fixed income opportunities, our favored investments for late-cycle portfolios include global natural capital. Farmland, timberland and agribusiness typically offer steady, long-term cash flows and illiquid profiles that keep them relatively insulated from short-term market dynamics. We also see compelling long-term potential in projects focused on protecting global environmental health broadly and biodiversity in particular.

The following outlook provides our more detailed investment perspectives as we enter the closing months of 2023 and prepare for the economic cycle’s final whistle, most likely to sound in 2024. Fortunately, investors still looking to transition from benchwarmer to potential benchmark-beater still have time to get their head — and their portfolio — in the game.

As Nuveen’s CIO and leader of our Global Investment Committee, Saira drives market and investment insights, delivers client asset allocation views and brings together the firm’s most senior investment leaders to deliver our best thinking and actionable investment ideas. In addition, she chairs Nuveen’s Equities Investment Council and is a portfolio manager for several key investment strategies.


All market and economic data from Bloomberg, FactSet and Morningstar.

The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market or other conditions, legal and regulatory developments, additional risks and uncertainties and may not come to pass. This material may contain “forward-looking” information that is not purely historical in nature.

Such information may include, among other things, projections, forecasts, estimates of market returns, and proposed or expected portfolio composition. Any changes to assumptions that may have been made in preparing this material could have a material impact on the information presented herein by way of example. Performance data shown represents past performance and does not predict or guarantee future results. Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible.

All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such. For term definitions and index descriptions, please access the glossary on Please note, it is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Important information on risk
All investments carry a certain degree of risk and there is no assurance that an investment will provide positive performance over any period of time. Equity investing involves risk. Investments are also subject to political, currency and regulatory risks. These risks may be magnified in emerging markets. Diversification is a technique to help reduce risk. There is no guarantee that diversification will protect against a loss of income. Investing in municipal bonds involves risks such as interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk, including the possible loss of principal. The value of the portfolio will fluctuate based on the value of the underlying securities. There are special risks associated with investments in high yield bonds, hedging activities and the potential use of leverage. Portfolios that include lower rated municipal bonds, commonly referred to as “high yield” or “junk” bonds, which are considered to be speculative, the credit and investment risk is heightened for the portfolio. Credit ratings are subject to change. AAA, AA, A, and BBB are investment grade ratings; BB, B, CCC/CC/C and D are below-investment grade ratings. As an asset class, real assets are less developed, more illiquid, and less transparent compared to traditional asset classes. Investments will be subject to risks generally associated with the ownership of real estate-related assets and foreign investing, including changes in economic conditions, currency values, environmental risks, the cost of and ability to obtain insurance, and risks related to leasing of properties. Investors should be aware that alternative investments including private equity and private debt are speculative, subject to substantial risks including the risks associated with limited liquidity, the use of leverage, short sales and concentrated investments and may involve complex tax structures and investment strategies. Alternative investments may be illiquid, there may be no liquid secondary market or ready purchasers for such securities, they may not be required to provide periodic pricing or valuation information to investors, there may be delays in distributing tax information to investors, they are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as other types of pooled investment vehicles, and they may be subject to high fees and expenses, which will reduce profits. Alternative investments are not appropriate for all investors and should not constitute an entire investment program. Investors may lose all or substantially all of the capital invested. The historical returns achieved by alternative asset vehicles is not a prediction of future performance or a guarantee of future results, and there can be no assurance that comparable returns will be achieved by any strategy. Impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) managers may take into consideration factors beyond traditional financial information to select securities, which could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market.

Nuveen, LLC provides investment services through its investment specialists.

This information does not constitute investment research as defined under MiFID.

Aerial view of the ocean shore

You are on the site for: Financial Professionals and Individual Investors. You can switch to the site for: Institutional Investors or Global Investors

You are about to access our website for visitors outside of the United States.

You are about to access our website for Nuveen Global Cities REIT

You are leaving the Nuveen website.

You are leaving the Nuveen website and going to the website of the MI 529 Advisor Plan, distributed by Nuveen Securities, LLC.

The Nuveen website for institutional investors is available for you.

You are about to access our website for visitors outside of the United States.

You are about to access our website for Nuveen Churchill Private Capital Income Fund (“NC - PCAP”)

Contact us
Contact us
Back to Top