Each day provides us with challenges, but it is no understatement to say that the year of 2020 was an exceptionally challenging year. Fortunately, with challenges come opportunities. We have heard from many of you that while family gatherings and travel plans may have been cancelled you have also embraced the extra time spent with family, learned new skills, and taken on new projects.
While not without our own challenges, the five of us in the Blue Summit team consider ourselves extremely fortunate and a big part of that is our ongoing relationship with you.
At times it feels like years have passed but it was about ten months ago when news of the virus started coming in slowly at first and then every minute of every day kicking off in February. We set records for how much the stock market could drop in one day. It is important to point out that extreme downward movements are not uncommon. A forgettable fact within the long-term upward trend but on average the market corrects (a move down 10%) once a year. However, this year we saw a drop of 30% in total just between late February and late March. What made it seem even worse was this drop was not due to just a drop in earnings, rise in inflation, or other purely financial metrics but it was a very real and scary health threat. People were hoarding food and hospitals around the world were filling up. It was an anxious time and what made it worse was the best many of us could do was stay at home while the minutes slowly ticked by. Some were able to help more directly and we want to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved in the Healthcare effort who have supported those in need. The market rebounded throughout the year and by the end it turned out to be a positive year for investors.
Amidst the anxiety we worked with each of you to discuss how your investments were positioned before this bear market even arrived. You trusted us as we provided guidance, buying when others were selling or staying the course set for your specific needs. We are very grateful for that trust and from this vantage point now at the end of the year we are pleased to see the results.
ROBERT - Has been hard at work studying for his CFP certification. With air travel not an option, he has enjoyed road trips in California and Utah with Kyra and Astro.
JUDY - Adores being a Grandmother to her first grandson, now 18 months old. She has also been living the #vanlife, working from her new Sprinter van while biking and hiking with her husband Matt
ALLEN - With his wife Rachel, welcomed their son Anders to the family in June. He also completed his Certified Valuation Analyst credential which helps business owners value and sell their businesses.
VERONICA AND SILVIA – Have enjoyed spending more time with their families while working from home this past year. They truly appreciate the communication they have with all of you.
Looking into 2021
We fielded many questions about what 2021 and the financial markets will look like. It is important to point out that we set up your investments to succeed in many different scenarios because the future is unknowable. Some high-level themes and trends we see:
The market rebounded faster than the overall economy in 2020 and this is to be expected as the stock market is a leading indicator. This means that at least part of the economic gains of 2021 and beyond have been built into the current market price.
Inflation is a real possibility and actually a stated goal of the US Government. It is important to keep in mind that real assets (including stocks and real estate) act as hedges against inflation. Cash has a place in every portfolio, but it should never be seen as a risk-free asset, especially in times of inflation.
As always each of you has a unique situation and it is our job to tailor your investments to that. We look forward to working together on this as 2021 unfolds and all of us at Blue Summit wish you a very Happy New Year.