Last week was a positive week for stocks with the markets finishing positive every day. We did experience a modest pullback in January of about 3.6% but we’re probably over this for now. While the payroll numbers for January were disappointing the unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% from 6.7%. Remember, the unemployment rate was 5%-6% in 2015 & 16 when the United States was fully open for business. Given what we’ve witnessed in the last year, the economy is doing rather well as reflected in the prices of equities. The data shows also shows that the economy is operating at the same level (or better) than it has in the last 12+ years and it’s not fully open for business. The attached article furthers the argument for an improving financial landscape.

Wednesday, I will get my second shot of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. As vaccinations increase and more Americans become vaccinated against this plague, hopefully, politicians will open up more of the economy. Inflation remains low and the Federal Reserve all-but-assured it would remain accommodative for a long time to come. I still remain bullish about equities as the estimated earnings per share of the S&P 500 is $175/share for this year and $200/share for 2022. Compared to 2018 &19, that is a sizable increase.

A few days ago, my wife Jean spent some time with a friend in Florida helping her take care of her husband and his end-of-life condition. With her hospice experience she was able to help get Fred into solace for round the clock care. This was after several months of providing care at home with only a CNA helping from 10PM to morning to the tune of about $20/hr. When I found the article about resources for care givers, I wanted to include it in this weeks’ email. Whether you’re in the process of caregiving or know someone who might be able to use this information, I hope it helps.

So, as we begin the 4th week of the new administration, should you have any questions or wish to speak with me, please call or email so we can put something on the calendar. Remember, the only choice is optimism, the pessimists never get it right.

Doug Alden

Link to article one…
Link to article two…

Office 828.668.0665
Cell 828.713.4602

PS: This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

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