It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. —Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
The more I read this quote, the more I appreciate how well it encapsulates our story in 2020. I confess I have never read the novel, but the opening lines have always intrigued me. And here we are, having lived those famous opening lines through the dichotomy of our political divisions, our economic disconnects, the virus and now the vaccines, and lastly the market drop followed by the unforeseen, gravity-defying rise.
This was a year of terrible pain for millions of Americans. My heart, my prayers and my charitable inclinations have been with the suffering throughout the year. On a personal level, Mary Caye and I do what we can, where we can.
Our client’s accounts have done splendidly – not by chance, but because of our steadfast commitment to a disciplined diversified approach. Our team has done an exceptional job this year and the markets, against all odds and expectations, delivered terrific returns.
Not a single analyst was able to foresee the calamity of the market’s alarming drop and subsequent recovery this year. Some self-promoting pundit will likely come forth to proclaim their own genius in predicting the blowout year we just experienced. This unfortunately only promotes the myth that you can beat the market by getting out and back in at the right time. All I can say to that is, even a broken clock is right twice a day!
We are looking forward to a joyful 2021 full of laughing and hugging with all our friends and loved ones again. We wish the same for you!
Mark F. Swingle, CFP ® and the Westfield Financial Planning team