Letters to Our Clients
Isn’t it funny how little it really takes to turn our frowns upside-down? Now, I have a very biased view on things. My profession requires me to pay attention to the financial markets, financial news, and popular news every day, and I can honestly tell you the amount of bad news has not decreased in the least these past couple of months. I know I’m preaching to the choir here. There’s a constant barrage of reports of violence, endless political bickering, an incessant muddying of truth, and a plethora of doomsayers selling the end. But… on top of all that hard-to-stomach news has been little sprinkled gumdrops of good (and/or not so bad) reports. If you merge that better news with the cooling temperatures, a return to opening schools matched with a formal lessening of COVID-19 restrictions, and stock markets heading in the right direction, the stage is set for a ready smile and upbeat step to the future.
“There is a time to go long. There is a time to go short. And there is a time to go fishing.”
– Jesse Livermore
Dad and I have both talked about Jesse Livermore in the past. Although he may be considered the original “day trader,” which is counter to how we invest, he profited and failed as a stock trader from his study of the psychology, emotions, and behavior of people. He understood that the short-term movements of the market, especially the extreme movements, were due to the temperament of people. One of his greatest accomplishments was knowing when he just needed to leave things be for a time, and just go fishing.
I cleared out my work email before leaving the office last Friday. As many of you personally know, if I happen to see an email from you over the weekend I will respond, even if it is just to let you know, “I’ll get right on that first thing Monday morning.” However, I try not to check the work email too much on the weekends. This is partially because I’m trying to give myself the semblance of a break, and also because Carter doesn’t let me use my home computer anymore. Trying to fight him for it dampens that “fantasy” of a weekend break. However, the biggest reason I don’t check it is because it is a chore to dig through the barrage of junk-mail that builds up. Thus, Monday morning begins with the ritual clearing out the work email (picking up right where I left off on Friday!). This Monday I had 138 new emails at the start of the day.
Here we are, about a month into Spring. Even though we’ve had a few days in the eighties, it’s been the cold days, including having snow pretty close to home, which have been the most remarkable lately. Still, Spring it is, and to remind us that there is still a standard model to these things, the green has abruptly shown up. One day it was all grey and brown bare limbs, and the next I found myself driving down streets through windy green tunnels. That overnight beauty was accompanied with the usual choking pollen, of course, but still, it’s beautiful nonetheless. Along with this, at church, the Easter season just arrived. So, as I found myself surrounded by themes of Spring, Easter, rebirth, and renewal, I was hoping for something fresh to talk to you all about. However, not much has changed when it comes to investing, finance, and the economy.
On March 11th, I attended the 8th Annual College of Charleston Strategic Investment Symposium. The symposium is hosted and conducted by the CofC School of Business Investment Program. The Symposium itself is quite an accomplishment. It continues to grow year after year, attracting an increasingly impressive line-up of key-note speakers and investment business owners. These top presenters, who you have probably seen on any of the big finance news slots, are there for those in the industry lucky enough to attend, but most importantly for the students of the Investment Program. The School of Business Investment Program is an opportunity for some of the best students from the business school to put what they’ve learned in the classroom to work. They employ asset valuation, group collaboration, and portfolio management skills to manage an investment portfolio with real money, donated from various sources attached to the school. You can find out all about the program, as well as the students’ presentation of their portfolio holdings and annual reports, at the program’s website.
We all know that February means Valentine’s Day. This probably means different things to each of us. For some, it may be just another day, and for others it may come with obligations and expectations. Of course, I’m sure there are also still some true romantics among us, as well as those who just appreciate a good chocolate heart. Likely you all know that with February also comes Identity Theft Protection week. Yes, that was a joke, but… it is an important topic that continues to lead to increasing financial losses.
Kendall J. Anderson, CFA, Founder
Justin T. Anderson, President