During this holiday shortened week of trading on Wall Street and amidst the recent record setting closes, thus far November and in fact the entire year has been very rewarding for those that hung tough through the difficult times during 2008 and early 2009. It is with this in mind that we have created a short list of what we as investment advisors are thankful for as we enter the final week of November and the beginning of the Holiday Season.
The first thing we are thankful for is the fact that there remains only one trading day left to this terrific month and one month left to this terrific year. Going into trading this past Friday the Standard & Poors 500 has risen nearly two percent for the month, over eleven percent for the year and more than 203% from the market bottom set March 9, 2009.
We are thankful that even at the bottom we continued to recommend to our clients a strategy that included diversification and proper perspective. We continued to recommend they maintain their strategy of dollar cost averaging into 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s and IRA’s as well as their after tax accounts. Although times were difficult we are thankful we had the teamwork, discipline and fortitude in our office to persevere. We are thankful that our clients kept their trust and confidence in our ability as well as their patience and willingness to listen to our advice.
We are thankful that the economy is improving, albeit at a modest pace. Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits have fallen, NonFarm Payrolls have risen, the housing market is in somewhat of a recovery, manufacturing is moving forward, Gross Domestic Product is above three percent and the retail environment, although challenging, is holding its own.
We are thankful for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen who has taken over the reins from Ben Bernanke, continuing the accommodative monetary policy that he set in motion and is competently guiding the financial markets through the end of the purchasing of mortgage-backed securities and U.S. Treasury Securities, better known as Quantitative Easing. This has helped the stock market to a great extent and to the lesser extent the economy. That said, we continue to NOT be grateful for the lack of collaboration between the Democrats and Republicans in Washington. It is our belief that the economy would be MUCH further ahead if our elected officials were willing to lead.
Finally, like all Americans, we are thankful for our men and women who are so valiantly serving in the military around the world, protecting our freedom.
Despite all of the above we are cognizant of the fact that too many Americans go to bed hungry on a daily basis and know that it is up to us to take care of each other. Too many Americans are homeless, jobless, lonely or have unfortunately lost hope. As we celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and friends, let’s keep those who are suffering in mind. Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving weekend!