A NEW YEAR: A TIME TO REFLECT,<br>GIVE THANKS AND CELEBRATE

A NEW YEAR: A TIME TO REFLECT,
GIVE THANKS AND CELEBRATE

The New Year is a moment of quiet reflection. Reflect on a year gone by; of the happy gains and missed opportunities. A time to recount the good and bad of the past year, the ups and downs. Looking back over the past year it’s important to acknowledge decisions that yielded the highest utility. As a company we introduced an important investment theme that we adopted into our investment strategies. The theme focused on the US consumer. The theme focused on investing in companies that, through higher wages, lower rates, and higher consumer confidence, we believed would see an increase demand for their products or services. We made the conscious decision to rotate our position to US domestic equities, specifically companies that have little to no exposure to China. At the time, given a spike in intensity of rhetoric between the two largest nations, a majority of investors were fleeing the market allowing for us to position ourselves with attractive entry points. Its been a record setting past few quarters on many economic metrics; but don’t take my subjective views, consider these objective statistics at a glance. Government economic report showed that November displayed better-than-expected 266,000 nonfarm jobs with the unemployment rate dipping to 3.5%, matching a 50 year low! Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, increased .4% in October after a .1% increase in September. Frankly put, more people are entering the workforce, the unemployment rate continues to fall, and productivity continues the hike. Personal consumption expenditure continues to increase at an average rate of 5% in our consumer driven economy. More US workers, higher wages, heightened productivity, increased confidence, increased future income expectations and increased current spending can be a perfect recipe for a positive 4th quarter, and a Happy New Year.

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