Do you remember hearing stories from family who lived through the Great Depression. It made the storyteller sound almost mythical. Will my grandchildren listen in awe when I tell them about enduring COVID? Will I chastise my grandchildren if they waste toilet paper? Will the next generations project some mythical “COVID street cred” on me? I sure hope so.
Society has experienced major changes as we have endured the COVID marathon. Remote work has gone from something “lazy millennials” dreamed of and certain cool tech companies offered to the new normal. The auto industry has fast tracked the adoption of electric vehicles as Toyota plans to build their new battery facility here in Greensboro. Mental health is more out in the open than before. A mass exodus from the cities has occurred with the Southeastern part of the country being a hot destination. (New York moved to Miami amid this as well) Our own business has mostly met with clients remotely for 24 months apart from those who preferred to come into the office when possible. Whenever there are large changes, opportunities arise for investments in companies.
On the Personal Side:
It has been one year since my family had COVID and the accompanying 25-day isolation. We postponed Christmas again due to family members having COVID. My sister-in-law was thrilled that I was “randomly” assigned her name for the 12th year in a row in the 7 person Loflin Family gift exchange. She was excited I helped her appear on a billboard for a day.
Along with graduate school, our daughters’ dance uber driving service and a pandemic, Evan has us settled into our home after moving in February. The theater lover in her beamed as we watched Wicked at the impressive new Tanger Center in October.
My daughters hosted a hot chocolate stand. While they didn’t sell any hot chocolate on that cold November day, seeing them hand out free hot cocoa to a swarm of Fedex, UPS and USPS drivers warmed me. Seeing them take everything in stride really makes me so excited to see the future and watch their lives unfold.
In October I enjoyed a pilgrimage with Holy Trinity and two days camping on the Appalachian trail. It was an incredible experience and it helped erase my dream of wanting to through hike the AT. In November, I fished the South Holston River for the first time. Despite bone chilling cold, we caught quite a few fish on a neat stretch of river.
On the Business Side:
Our office Christmas celebration was a lot more meaningful this year. It was fun to do dinner with spouses and thank our team for how hard they have worked to improve our clients’ lives. I am excited about what this year holds as we continue to grow from an “I” to a “We” approach.
Ben passed his CFP(r) Exam in November and we could not be more proud of the effort he put in to complete it. This is a difficult program for anyone much less someone who lives with a toddler. Congratulations Ben. On the education front, Kam will take her Series 7 exam this quarter. We are all wishing her good test wishes as she studies. Anna’s big 2022 event will be getting married later this year. We are just excited that she and her fiancée Phillip were able to secure a venue as COVID has also led to a glut in weddings.
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I have always been a James Taylor fan, often listening to Carolina On My Mind when homesick. Going to see James Taylor and Jackson Browne rock it out family was a very cool experience. We all took the bus out to dinner and the concert. We had an absolute blast! If you would like to use the bus, email email@example.com or visit www.whythebus.com.
Featured Blog Post:
As we begin a new year it is fitting to want to look at your financial life as well. Your financial plan should be evolving along with you to reflect your life and needs better. Check out our blog post for more.
First Quarter Outlook:
Inflation, supply chain thawing and getting people back to work are themes we expect to see. We expect continued growth in US stocks as they outperform global markets. Inflation will be an issue although more a talking point than a disaster as it will effect households. We expect COVID to continue to be more of an issue in other parts of the world and less significant impact in the United States as we work towards heard immunity. Barring major new strains, the supply chain should thaw allowing for goods to begin to ship more regularly.
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