Welcome to 2022! Whew, we made it. I am hoping this is last of our Five Act tragicomedy.
Act I: The Election of 2020
Act II: The Election Hangover
Act III: Covid-19 Oh My!
Act IV: Delta & Omicron
Act V: Cue the hero and the happy ending! (not yet written)
Enough already. I am weary, and I expect you are as well. I hope and pray we are closer to the finale than the debut.
How about some good news? Amid our Shakespearean odyssey, the S&P 500 delivered returns of 31.49%, 18.4% and 28.71% in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively. Counterintuitive to say the least. Had we known what the headlines would say for those 3 years starting January 2019, many of us would have elected to pull our money out of the market. What a boneheaded, disastrous move that would have been for your wealth!
A positive postscript for 2022: corporate America (which is actually global) continues to drive forward, finding opportunities for growth both here and abroad, and analysts predict strong earnings this year. However, this is not your parents’ stock market. It’s not even the market of 15 years ago. There’s a new cast of characters building your wealth. Not ExxonMobil, but rather Tesla. Not AT&T, but Apple. Probably not Merck, but more likely Moderna. Then there is Zoom, Netflix, PayPal and others, all positioned for a prosperous 21st century.
Our wealth-building philosophy is derived from our long-term focus on your financial planning goals. Everything we do flows from there. We believe substandard returns, and sometimes investment failure, result from reacting to current market/political/financial events rather than following your plan. In your lifetime, I expect you are unlikely to experience a better example of this than we have seen in the last several years. If you have ANY doubts about our strategy, please bring this up with Dan, Tim, or me at your next review. Your success depends on your confidence in your financial plan and in us.
Everyone at WFP wishes you and yours a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2022.
Written by: Mark Swingle, CFP®, Westfield Financial Planning