This rally just will not end. It has changed character several times, with different segments of the market taking the lead. It has had slight pauses that might signal an oncoming market correction, but through it all this market just keeps climbing.
The recent leadership has come from China. Emerging markets have been the best place to be this year and Chinese technology companies have led the way. Can it last?
Yes, it can. Of course, there are never any guarantees in the financial markets and something can always go wrong, but this rally is mostly based on better company results, which means a better economy and ultimately a better consumer. We see it in the economic data and we also see it in real life.
This past Sunday was my son Charlie’s tenth birthday. For his birthday we gave him a trip, wherever he wanted to go – within reason and budget of course. He chose Disney World. Our flight to Orlando was packed; our hotel was completely full. The parks were wall-to-wall people, a large portion of whom were wearing matching t-shirts, and one brave man who won my affection by wearing a shirt which simply stated that no one was ever getting him into a matching t-shirt. Everyone must stand for something.
Perhaps the greatest signal of economic strength was found in the fact that on my son’s birthday some people – not the Osbornes – were willing to wait for 170+ minutes to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the newest roller coaster in the Magic Kingdom.
Disney World is an interesting place. Some people absolutely love it and others absolutely hate it, but there is no doubt that it is an American landmark. I got to meet a sailor in our U.S. Navy who took his four kids to the park using tickets given to him through a military charity. It was a treat before he shipped off in a week’s time. I met a family with five sons, all adopted but no less brothers. I won’t lie, my family witnessed some rude behavior some from children but unfortunately much from parents. However, we witnessed a hundred small kindnesses as well. We witnessed the great diversity of our nation and our shared culture.
When one takes it all in he realizes that he has much for which to be thankful. In keeping with our tradition here is my list. This year I am thankful for:
~ A good year in the financial markets.
~ The United States of America, where people from all walks of life can share experiences like Disney World.
~ My children, whose enthusiasm for the small things in life reminds me of what is truly important.
~ My family, immediate and extended.
~ All of my friends.
~ As always, Mama’s pumpkin cheesecake and my loose-fitting pants which make enjoyment of said cheesecake possible.
~ Finally, for you, our clients and friends. Your trust in Iron Capital is our greatest asset and we value it every day of the year.
Chuck Osborne, CFA