Thanksgiving Office and Market Schedules

The US financial markets will be closed Thursday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Also, on Friday, November 27th the US stock markets will close at 12:00 noon, CST, 1:00pm EST for a shortened trading session. This means any requests for special distributions from E*Trade Advisor accounts requested on Wednesday-Friday won’t be processed until the following week due to the holiday and weekend.  Our offices will close early Wednesday, November 25th at 3:00pm and be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. As always, we can be contacted via email or phone by leaving a voicemail on the office phone should you need anything during this period.  We will be open as usual on Monday, November 30th.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Thoughts for 2020 

This year has been one of the most trying years ever for many people across the globe.  Here in the US, we still have so much to be thankful for, even with all the events that have transpired to- date. We have talked with most of you throughout the year, and there has been an overwhelming consensus to “just get 2020 over with and move into a new year”.  We know many of you or family members have been directly affected by the COVID-19 virus, whether health-wise or financially. This is one of those years that it is difficult to feel thankful. This year has also thrown at us political uncertainty and division as we moved into the elections, and even now lingers with some uncertainty.

Yet through all this, our Country continues to function and look ahead to the future. A vaccine for COVID-19 is all but certain, which should help in containing and fighting the virus. The US financial markets continue to hover at higher levels for the year, even in spite of all that has occurred and all the uncertainty that still exists. We are so thankful for all of you and the privilege we have in serving you each and every day and that we are in a profession we love and enjoy.  Technology has allowed us to fully function in our business from any location today which makes the current environment more tolerable and our ability to fully serve you has not been interrupted. We are thankful for our families and extended families, and that all have remained healthy this year. We are also so thankful for all the healthcare workers this year that have worked relentlessly to serve others and put themselves in harm’s way each and every day. This year has been a year of testing, but trials ultimately do make us stronger. Take time this Thanksgiving to rest, recharge, and reflect on all the good things we do have to be thankful for as we get ready to move into a new year. Let’s all strive to have an “attitude of gratitude” and be a light to those who are struggling at this time. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything  by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 ESV

2020 Year-End Approaching

2020 is quickly coming to a close.  If you have not scheduled a year-end review yet, do so today. We can conduct your personal review either in-person, online, or by phone. Call or email us today before the year comes to a close!

COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough

Since our last update, a lot has changed in terms of market news related to COVID 19. Not one, but two separate vaccines have been announced with 95% effectiveness. To put this in perspective, the seasonal flu vaccine has floated between 20 and 60% effectiveness according to the CDC over the last decade. This is a game changing announcement for not only the future of this pandemic but also the future of vaccines in general. Pfizer, with its partner BioNTech, and Moderna announced two competing vaccines using what is known as mRNA, which seems to be validated by both firms seeing comparable results in their trials. This is a new advancement that had not yet been achieved in a vaccine. On the surface, it seems extremely encouraging and has many benefits over traditional vaccines. While time will still tell, we are excited about the possibilities for the potential end to the pandemic being in view. The Dispatch released a great post describing the breakthroughs of this vaccine technology, and we recommend clients read it if curious to learn more.  And just announced today, Pfizer has officially submitted a request to the FDA for authorization of its vaccine.

While some of the pandemics of the past lasted roughly eighteen months, no pandemic ever ended with such an effective vaccine. Prior to the announcement, we would have argued it was an unlikely outcome. Nonetheless, the vaccine still must be delivered and used in mass, which will take time. Much of the world is watching rising case counts as governments try to decide what action to take. Some have reinstituted nationwide lock downs or restrictions on certain activities. The US is seeing record high daily case count averages of 170,000 and daily deaths of nearly 1,400. This compares to an intermediate April peak of roughly 32,000 daily cases and over 2,200 daily deaths. With hospitalizations at record highs, it is definitely concerning to watch as the virus  spreads, but it is encouraging to see advancements in the healthcare sector to help save lives compared to previous waves.

While we’ve been clear that we are not medical professionals and only review the public data provided, we focus much of our time analyzing the potential impact to markets. In many scenarios, we do not see a large downside in our value focused holdings. A collapse of the fixed income markets seems unlikely as the market now understands the Fed will step in with unlimited fire power. The vaccine sitting on the horizon allows well capitalized companies feel confident that the sun will rise again, and we will not simply have to learn how to accommodate another virus year-after-year. In the most optimistic scenario, many current virus strains like the flu could potentially even be eliminated if this new method proves to be as effective as the trial data shows for other illnesses besides just COVID. The flu claims tens of thousands of lives every year in the US alone, and it could be the next focus after COVID’s eradication.

We do not mean to only point to positive possibilities, as we do understand the grim view pressed on the public at the moment. However, we do encourage all clients to look past the near-term to what could lie ahead in the years ahead after this passes. Our job is to remain focused on your overall investment portfolio, peering at the forest rather than staying fixated on a single tree. And in this case, we remain extremely encouraged about the potential outcome and keep our attention on the long-term opportunities that currently exist as well as could lie ahead. We encourage all clients to stay safe and well as that future quickly approaches.

We wish all of you and your families a safe, blessed, and Happy Thanksgiving and appreciate the confidence you have placed in our firm. As always, please don’t hesitate to call or email if you ever have any questions or concerns.

God Bless,

Your TEAM at F.I.G. Financial Advisory Services, Inc.

 

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