Happy New Year!
Last year was full of record-setting unemployment, record-setting stock market indexes, and lots of political twists, turns and surprises. Looking back, if you would have told me in November 2016, when the S&P 500* index was trading at 2,100, that the S&P 500 would go up to almost 3,200 by year-end 2019 (a gain of over 50%**), I likely would have questioned your sanity. You can think what you want about President Trump, but his economic policies and tax laws have made people who own things that appreciate, quite a bit of money in the last three years. We expect the markets to be extremely volatile during 2020, but we don’t believe that the headline-driven markets will have a meaningful negative impact on our economy. We believe the economy will continue at full speed for a good number of years, and nothing short of a Socialist-held presidency, accompanied by both houses of Congress being held by Socialist-minded Democrats, could put a stop to this economic train.
As Americans, we invest in many things throughout our lives. We start out investing our time and energy in our personal education. Attending grade school, followed by high-school, some even choosing to further their education in college, is all part of the educational investment that keeps America and ourselves on the cutting edge of innovation. We make this investment in ourselves because we all believe it will yield a better version of our future selves. Some then choose to invest their energy and time into a spouse. We do this again for a similar reason, that our path together holds for a brighter future than our paths apart. It is this constant belief for a better future that helps us shape our decision-making.
These choices hold true for investing your savings into a diversified set of investments designed around your risk tolerances and objectives. It is the single belief that the future version of America is going to be better than the present that encourages investors to put money to work. Taking the risk of potential short-term losses in exchange for the potential reward of long-term future participation in a better, more creative and more profitable America is what defines us. Our nation, and capitalism, are designed to reward investment and determination. It is not a perfect system, but it is one that encourages people of all income levels, backgrounds and races to invest into a better future.
It doesn’t matter what your profession, aptitude or current financial state says about you, it is our belief that the future is going to be better that encourages us to invest. When that investment is matched equally with hard work, great things become possible. It is with that spirit that we can move forward, doing everything that we can in the current moment to help ensure that we take advantage of multiple investment opportunities when they present themselves.
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
If we all invest in ourselves, in our children, of our time and with our resources with the fervency of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote above, there is no doubt that the America of tomorrow will be a future worth investing in. As we tackle the schedule of a new year, take a few moments to reflect on what you’re going to achieve and intentionally plan what investments you will undertake to help ensure the future you’re envisioning comes to fruition.
May all your investments in 2020 be profitable ones!
*S&P 500 index is not an investment vehicle and cannot be owned.