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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

2019 was the rare year when the simple investing strategy of targeting almost anything would have worked, the New York Times notes.

What happened: A series of interest rate cuts this year from the Federal Reserve — the first since the Great Recession — juiced the markets, making it a great time for investors.

The winners:

  • "The S&P 500 index was up 28.5 percent, through [yesterday], its best performance since 2013 and one of the best in decades."
  • "Broad indexes of the American bond markets are up nearly 9 percent."
  • "Gold jumped 18.5 percent and silver nearly 16 percent, and other commodities were also up."
  • "Futures prices for hogs, in case that had been your pick, gained about 18 percent."

The (few) losers: Not everything was a sure bet this year — natural gas and cobalt both fell. And individual stocks can have their risks, as the Times notes Macy's fell 40% this year.

Go deeper: The market will need the Fed again in 2020

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.