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2019 In Review

“This is 2020” sounds like something only Barbara Walters can say.  From my family to yours, Happy New Year!  As I reflect on 2019, the word that comes to mind is “gratitude”.  There are so many benefits of practicing gratitude; it evokes a healthy state of mind, and we are what we think.

“The root of joy is gratefulness.  It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” -David Steindl-Rast

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”- I Thessalonians 5:16-18

I have attached a letter published in the Commercial Dispatch back from November.  Wyatt Emmerich does a beautiful job laying out the wonderful benefits of gratitude.  As we begin a new decade, what are you grateful for?

My gratitude list is long, but starts with: my savior, my loving wife Kellie, children who are healthy enough to break a lamp wrestling with dad (sorry Kel), a safe environment to raise a family, a comfortable bed to sleep in, the ability to do meaningful work every day that I enjoy, and the blessing of freedom in a great country- just to name a few. 

As for the markets of 2019, I am reminded of the benefits we enjoy from being long-term investors, working steadily towards achieving our most cherished lifetime goals.  We make no attempt to forecast, much less time, the equity market; we believe these to be fool’s errands.  Looking back to the fourth quarter of 2018 is a perfect example.  Investors who ran for cover following the 19.8% drop missed out on a terrific 2019.  Going into the new decade, I encourage you to continue setting aside the headline issues of the day: the China trade situation, an aging economic expansion, impeachment/election uncertainty, tension in the Middle East, and the like.  These are not merely imponderable, they are irrelevant to long-term, goal-focused investors like us. 

The fact is that us plan driven investors had an exceptional year in 2019.  We did so not by forecasting returns or by jumping into the market just in time to get them, but by patiently sticking to our long-term, disciplined approach.  That, to me, is the great lesson of this genuinely great year.

Thank you, most sincerely, for being my clients.  It is an honor and a pleasure to serve you.

All the best for 2020,