Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, and a Happy last full day of Hanukkah, to all! As 2020 draws to a close, we have much to be thankful for, and much to look forward to. Hopefully, none of you have been seriously touched by COVID – make sure you stay that way! Despite the worst United States economic times in nearly a hundred years – since the Great Depression – the markets have produced solid results, for which we are grateful. The most bitter political season in memory is over and fading into a more normal situation. The government is poised to shore up the economy with more cheap money and increased relief and spending. The vaccine news is out of the park good, and the shots are going round in record real time. As dim as the year has been, the future is looking very bright! On the downside, the COVID numbers in terms of infections, hospitalizations and deaths get worse every day. Mark my words, it will get worse before it gets better. You MUST stay safe until you get the vaccine! Keep those immune systems strong! COVID has gut punched the economy again, and we are headed toward a double dip recession, hopefully short-lived. And the US markets remain quite frothy, all out of proportion with the underlying economic reality. There will eventually be a reckoning that we are on guard for. But for now, be merry! Be as close to your friends, family and loved ones as you can and bask in their warmth! Set aside your worries for awhile and enjoy the season! But do not set aside your vigilance! The current COVID spike is largely driven by careless behaviors around Thanksgiving. Let’s not make the same mistake with Christmas, America, or New Years will be grim indeed! On to a little business:
- Take the vaccine as soon as you can get it! Despite limited reports of bad side effects, getting inoculated against the virus is the best bet for your health! Play the odds. These vaccines are a jewel of medical science. Modern medicine is a blessing, not something to be feared. Be smart! Get vaccinated! I will as soon as I can!
- Quoting from Barron’s: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. Economist Irving Fisher said that just before the Crash of 1929. Without doubt, these are unusual times, and we should remember the lessons of the past. It is precisely during these moments that investors should think about what they will do should the unexpected happen and the markets tumble. If you believe that stocks can only rally higher …you’re likely delusional. Something invariably happens when everyone is feeling sanguine and their brokerage statements are flush with profits, something that upsets the consensus view. In anticipation of that day—and it is impossible to know when it will occur—(have a plan for what to do – Jeff) should short-term volatility ever seriously knock prices lower.” Thanks, Barron’s – I couldn’t have said it better!
- As you know, Camarda’s been hyper-sensitive to risk this year, which is unusual for us. Then again, these are most unusual times. We have acted out of an abundance of caution to protect your portfolios, and ours. We’ve made a number of adjustments to better be on solid ground with quick feet as the markets move. Despite some disappointments in 2020, we are confident these strategic adjustments will not only better protect us in the volatile times we see ahead but prove to be quite profitable as we execute our playbook. We look forward to a bang-up 2021 as these new strategies come fully into play.