“Bull markets end when the perception of earnings growth disappears […]. Manias, on the other hand, end when the market runs out of buyers.” – Andy Kessler
2020 ended with the world collectively eager to put a challenging year in the rear-view mirror while looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. The US election results are now (mostly) behind us, and we have two approved Covid-19 vaccines being distributed in the US with an additional 5 being used in other parts of the world. What is most surprising to me is, having witnessed a year where we endured the worst global pandemic in a century, the fastest bear market in history, a global recession, and a contentious presidential election; that I would find myself in the same place I was exactly a year ago: contemplating whether the market accurately reflects the reality of our economy.
Read More “Blind Spots”
“And so I moved that very day into the heart of a quince, where the seeds are few and almost silent.” – Khalil Gibran, from the poem “The Pomegranate”
I was always taught that evolution is a slow process that occurs over generations. The reality is that evolution can occur quickly. A meteorite slams into the earth, smoke and debris deny plants of sunlight, and the dinosaurs begin to die as their food sources whither. Mammals emerge from their tunnels and thrive as they realize their former predators are quickly dying away. Any change in our external environment can lead to faster evolution as species do what it takes to survive. Scientists have even shown that a species can evolve in real time.
Read More “Stepping Back from the Noise”
“When you put a fire under a pot, you learn what’s in it.” — Malcolm X
If a deadly pandemic overtakes the world, but the market looks past it, did the pandemic really happen?
The equity markets staged a dramatic rebound during the quarter as local economies opened across the country. The question for investors is, how can the market turn so positive when data points to rough months ahead?
The short answer is “because the market is forward looking.” Investors are peering many months into the future to a point when Covid-19 fades away, the population gains herd immunity, or researchers find an appropriate treatment or cure. Investors are looking past current data towards a recovery.
Should the Market be so confident?
Read More “The Market Looks Forward”
“Crisis does not create character; it reveals it.” – Jim Stovall, Wisdom for Winners
In just a few short months, our world has changed.
Even the word “pandemic” is scary. Health officials have labeled the coronavirus as “novel,” because the human species has never been exposed to it. We seemingly have no natural antibodies. As the news of the virus has unfolded, and nations and communities accepted that our first (and possibly only) line of defense was the concept of “social distancing,” I gained a newfound respect for survivors of previous pandemics. The Bubonic Plague. The Spanish Flu. Or even 1612 when Native Americans welcomed the Pilgrim settlers traveling from Europe bringing with them smiles, smallpox, and leptospirosis.
Read More “Our World Has Changed”