The “Santa Claus” rally came early this year with stocks posting low double-digit returns in November. Positive news on the COVID-19 vaccine front, coupled with a likely divided government after the November elections, contributed to these gains. A divided government means market fears about big tax increases have been mitigated for now. In addition, the nomination of Janet Yellen for Treasury Secretary has provided some investors with the prospect of a closely aligned Federal Reserve and Treasury Department that may stimulate the economy. These are all perceived as positive developments, sending stocks to new highs.
November proved to be a stark reminder about staying invested in the financial markets. While periods like March this year are disconcerting, positive months like November are equally hard to predict. Therefore, trying to time the market is extremely difficult to do, and may be costly to your financial plan. Maintaining a long-term investment approach and staying invested has historically provided investors better returns, regardless of periodic market volatility.
Based on these positive developments in the stock market, one would think everything in the world is going well. Quite the contrary! We enter December with the pandemic still raging and renewed stay-at-home measures being implemented in the U.S. Our healthcare system is heading toward a challenging winter. Also, certain businesses/industries are once again facing temporary restrictions and/or lock-downs. However, vaccines are on the cusp of initial distribution, and more healthcare innovations keep rolling out to help us beat this pandemic. Unlike early in 2020, when we were asking questions about “how” we were going to live with the pandemic, we are now asking “when” we will recover from the pandemic. Therefore, investors are looking through the next three to six months of economic and healthcare hardship, while focusing on the recovery phase in the second half of 2021 and into 2022.
It remains important for Congress to pass a fiscal stimulus/relief package soon in order to ease the economic challenges faced by Americans negatively impacted from the pandemic. Not only is this a humane course of action from our government, it should also contribute to an accelerated pace of economic growth once the healthcare crisis becomes diminished. While the healing process from both an economic and healthcare perspective will take time, the failure to provide additional fiscal relief to those most in need may stifle the economic recovery process.
For your financial well-being, this means that it remains important to stick with a long-term financial and investment plan. There will inevitably be volatility in the financial markets and the economy from time to time. While the pandemic this year is a new and significant setback, the response to this setback is like previous financial crises – stay focused on your long-term goals! Historically, a well-diversified investment portfolio has proven to be a consistently winning strategy through economic recessions and expansions, wars, and now a pandemic.
Our experienced team at 9258 Wealth Management is here to serve you during these challenging times in order to offer you financial, tax, business, and investment planning and advice. We are a phone call, email, or video chat away from connecting with you. Please feel free to contact us at 513.791.9258 or inquire about setting up a video call. Please stay healthy and safe and Happy Holidays to you and your families!