Stocks are up as we near the close of the year and both the S&P and Dow are just off their record highs. I don’t know. It just seems that a lot of people are ending the year with plenty of hope … hope in a better economy, hope for better personal financial positioning and even hope that the virus will soon be defeated and we can move back towards some degree of normalcy (whatever that is). There are even opinions being tossed about that claim we might be heading towards another period of parties and glee … similar to what was faced in “the Roaring 20s!” I don’t know about you, but I’m going on YouTube later today to practice The Charleston.
Is it too early to sound the “all is well” alarm? Probably. But with the view that every cloud has a silver lining, investors seem to be considering today’s clouds to provide little more than a passing shower.
And maybe it is not only investors that seem not too worried about the future, but the general population as well. I just came across a report by Magnify Money Survey which listed how people financed their holiday gifting this year. It seems that 27% took out personal loans, 18% went the payday loan route (ouch!) and 12% borrowed from friends and family.
Hopefully they did so with confidence this can and will be paid back.
Of course, we look toward the New Year with resolutions in mind … and I found a report by Statista interesting as they listed the top three resolutions being, in order: a) to exercise more, b) to eat healthier and, c) to spend more time with friends and family.
So here we sit (literally), our collective 10th month being away from many of our friends and family members … and the desire to spend more time with them is listed third? Wow.
Maybe many of us are subconsciously quite happy being hermits.
Have a great day.
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915
… As of 11: 24 AM today …
Quick Look at the News
As the wealth gap widened, discussions on minimum wage seemed to get louder. As of now, states are in charge of setting their own standards. Will the federal government soon step it? (CNBC)https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/30/half-of-us-states-will-raise-their-minimum-wage-in-2021.html
… meanwhile, vaccinations are increasing (still too slowly for some) … but once you get one you might be able to sign onto an app … allowing you certain privileges (CNN)https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/27/tech/coronavirus-vaccine-passport-apps/index.html
In a crowded room do you notice how the charismatic people seem to get all of the attention? Don’t be shy about it. You might want to check your shyness at the door (ThriveGlobal)https://thriveglobal.com/stories/3-ways-to-become-more-charismatic-even-if-youre-an-introvert/
Why do some analysts feel electric vehicle interest will continue? Well, it is due to surveys that indicate present users will remain in the camp of electric vehicle devotees (Electrek)https://electrek.co/2020/12/29/once-you-go-electric-you-dont-go-back-survey/
… but one of the important things with electric cars is, of course, having available electricity. Solar is shining again … and one believer makes a case for purposeful overbuilding (QZ)https://qz.com/1950381/the-case-for-producing-way-more-solar-energy-than-we-need/
One of the issues faced by vegetable growers is the limitation of acreage. A solution could be growing upward instead of outward. Here the sky is, literally, the limit (MyModernMet)https://mymodernmet.com/plenty-vertical-farm/
The jury is still out on the effects of driving while “high” from cannabis. One community believes cannabis to be a cause of a spike in deaths and others should take notice (OurCommunityNow)https://ourcommunitynow.com/news-local/spike-in-fatal-car-crashes-in-kansas-city-mo-leads-police-to-point-the-finger-at-pot