Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
VP of Product Development Emerald Asset Management

Good morning.
Boy, I’m old. I remember the days when a few-hundred point move in the Dow meant something but today it seems like these moves happen with such frequent occurrence (much like NY Jet losses) that they are often ignored. I think the reason this caught my eye is the realization that we had three 500-point moves in the Dow in the last 10 days … and two of those were declines, with each one being larger that the famed drop in October 1987 … often referred to as “Black Monday.”

I had some industry-related stuff that kept me from writing earlier this week but when I compared this morning’s notes to ones I have from last week … it appears concerns are the same … continuing virus cases and inflation. Regarding the virus, there remains quite a difference of opinion. While some still have not received (and do not plan to receive) their first shot, others are already getting their “booster.” By the way, I got my third shot on Monday … and found myself exhausted all day yesterday. I blame the booster … but staying up until 1 AM to binge-watch a Netflix show the night before certainly didn’t help.

As far as vaccines go, a growing number of companies are trying to force the issue and Forbes is reporting that 75% of small businesses will actually fire workers who will not vaccinate … although I believe the EEOC (U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission) feels this is only justified for those physically at the worksite (and yes, there are exceptions).

Politicians are also busy in Washington over the next few days to put into place agreements to keep the government running as … for the umpteenth time … Congress is being charged with passing a funding bill to keep things going. It is a glorious time to be able to witness politicians of little note grab national attention just by giving the hint that they might vote differently than their party leaders have directed.

What all this sums up to be is a period of uncertainly for investors.

A short while ago, we witnessed third-quarter GDP forecasts that seemed to promise roaring times ahead … while the Atlanta Fed GDPNow estimate dropped from being above 6% in early August to 3.2% today which is, to use an economic phase, “quite a decline.”

On a final note … and one I will espouse upon in more writings to follow … Pew Research Center shows a large number (68%) of Americans feel their kids will be worse off, financially, than their parent’s generation.

As a helicopter parent, I certainly understand that … as I just bought new AirPods for my kid when he accidentally put his through the washing machine.

While he, obviously, thinks there is a money tree growing some place in the yard … he doesn’t yet see something that will be very important to him in the future.

Even though it doesn’t directly go through his fingers …

… he is spending his inheritance now.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
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 11:43 AM today …

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