With a new market year comes new opportunities to change our past habits and behaviors for the better. No other time of the year is as motivating. The calendar turns over, and everyone everyone wants to make changes, big or small, at least for the first couple weeks of January.
But this new year of 2021 is unique. I have never heard so many people eager to say good riddance to a year like 2020. Well my friends, it’s over but the same problems still exist today as last week. Maybe with a new attitude we can make this next full turn around the sun a better one.
New market year, new hope
We could spend hours talking about how awful 2020 was, but there are glimmers of hope and better days ahead.
The destruction and devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues. More than 350,000 lives have been lost in the US. Hospitalizations are at a record 123,000, and many more are sick at home. 2021 promises a vaccine treatment for all, but it’ll take some time. The mental – not just physical – toll of the pandemic will ripple through the nation for decades to come.
As traders, we are all too familiar with the economic impact of the pandemic. The markets really took it on the chin during the first part of the year before bouncing back sharply. The stock market closed at all-time highs on the last day of 2020 as analysts expect better times ahead.
The Fed’s “easy money” policy helped keep investors engaged and companies solvent after making tough choices. Unemployment remains historically high, and until the hospitality and travel industries are able to return to full force, millions of people will remain in need.
Don’t get me started on the Federal government, which has barely managed to support its constituents. With the change in leadership this month, we should see a smoother direction for the country over the next four years. If we’re lucky, leaders will cooperate and compromise to build a brighter future for everyone.
As I said above, hope springs eternal for a good year ahead. Only time will tell how this year plays out, but it can’t possibly be worse than 2020.
Happy new year everyone!