Letters to Our Clients
The year 2020 was a doozy. I am hoping it was such a doozy that you all would just as soon not subject me, or yourselves, to a tortuous recounting of it. Most of the market and economy forecasts I’ve read lately start with a detailed play-by-play recounting. I will try to keep my own recount short and strictly related to market investing.
Well, we have almost reached the end of this wildly frustrating year. Christmas is right around the corner, and I’m hoping all of you are able to spend some time with family, whether in person or through connections from a distance. I’m also hopeful that 2021 will shine a little brighter than 2020 and be a little easier for all of us.
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be. – Douglas Adams
As most of you know, just like Dad, I am pretty tall. I am 6-foot-8, however my doctor, the practical man that he is, would cough and correct that to 6-foot-7-and ½. Tall people share a kinship in this world, as do all people with specific similarities. I recently saw a joke for tall people posted by a friend on Facebook. It was linked to the very popular Mandalorian series, hinting that there is a certain code shared by tall people, and it was spot on. It said, “As a tall person I cannot offer to reach something on a high shelf for a stranger, yet if they ask me I must oblige. This is the law of the giants.” Tall people get this right away… it is offensive for us to proactively offer that help because of what it insinuates, but if we don’t help when requested we seem mean.
The first time I got a big cut over my left eye, I was in the first or second grade and was attending Ebenezer Avenue Elementary. The second time I got a big cut over my left eye, I was in the third or fourth grade, and early in my Richmond Drive Elementary school days. Both instances involved a lot of blood, a lot of fear, and a lot of stitches. I was scared both times, and each time I worried I’d lost an eye. Now think about the fear my mom had when her sweet little boy came running at her holding his head with blood running down his face… her sweet, little, stupid boy that not only almost lost an eye twice, but basically the same eye, and in the same spot. Fear can quickly turn to anger in cases like that.
I don’t know about you, but lately it seems as if I have this unidentified feeling of waiting for something. I know a lot of the specific things I’m waiting for; a haircut, movie theaters to reopen or movie studios to release titles for online rental, to find out if schools will reopen, a vaccine and a cure. I’m also waiting for more information related to business, the economy, and the stock market. As I’ve said before, even with most of the public companies having reported their First Quarter earnings, it is in the Second Quarter where all the unknowns will be known, or more specifically, how bad things were will be known. And I say “were,” because when the Second Quarter gets reported we will already be well into the Third Quarter.
Quarantine has been used to combat virus outbreaks for centuries. From what I can find, the first use of a quarantine was in 14th century Italy to fight the plague. A few of us have prior experiences of being quarantined. I still remember the police tacking a big yellow sign on our front porch announcing to the world that our house was off limits to all. It said, “Quarantined. Mumps!” The quarantine lasted until my three siblings and myself all experienced the disease. I know how miserable it was for us kids to survive those couple weeks locked up in the house. I can’t tell you how my mother even survived such a lock down. I beg each of you to say a prayer to give a little strength to those parents who currently have young children in the house creating havoc!
Kendall J. Anderson, CFA, Founder
Justin T. Anderson, President