AnticipationMarch 4, 2021 -
Categorized in: IAG News
Signs of spring are all around us right now. The Sandhill cranes returned this past weekend; flocks of robins showed up in my backyard; and I can actually see other vehicles over the snow piles when backing out of my driveway.
One year ago today the United States confirmed its ninth death from COVID-19 and reported 126 total COVID infections. From there we entered a dark COVID winter.
Today we are seeing signs of spring.
Infections and hospitalizations appear to be stabilizing. We now have three vaccines available for folks who want to significantly reduce the odds of being infected. Estimates for “herd immunity” range from as soon as April to as late as August.
Fans are attending Bucks games at Fiserv Forum. Milwaukee’s museums are reopening in the coming days. The Brewers are hoping to host over 10,000 fans for their opening day on April 1. Signs of spring.
Our next challenge will be determining when precautionary measures such as masks, social distancing requirements, and capacity constraints can be lifted. As with everything, opinions will vary depending on the amount of risk deemed acceptable.
While some aspire to zero future COVID infections and will advocate for continuing COVID protocols indefinitely, it is more likely that government officials will feel comfortable dialing back precautions once almost everyone who wishes to be vaccinated has been.
The financial markets appear to firmly believe that the American consumers will be spending their accumulated savings this spring. We have collectively been cooped up for too long, cancelled too many trips, and suffered through too many unmet wants. The American consumer is not known for their patience.
The challenge for both consumers and businesses alike may be the hangover of supply chain disruptions that have decimated inventories. Consumers may have money they want to spend, but businesses may only have limited supplies to sell. This typically leads to inflation.
Just as the spring melt reveals buried “treasures” from the winter and creates potholes in our roads, the economic and social spring that has begun will not be quite as pretty and beautiful as we envision. However, it is still something to anticipate after a dark winter.
Quote of the week: Mark Hulbert: “If your investment strategy going forward is dependent on your anticipating major market turning points, your chances of success are extremely low.”
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