“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ~ Oscar Wilde
We have heard the advice so often: everything in moderation. This advice is repeated so often probably because we are so bad at following it. Today’s motto is closer to “everything in hyperbole,” and perhaps that explains the election and aftermath. We have been living with extremes so long that we just need some good old-fashioned moderation.
President Trump represented extreme behavior, and the country rejected it. The Democratic Party adopted an extreme platform and the nation rejected it, with Democrats losing seats in the House and making little ground in the Senate, despite winning the White House. The market has mostly celebrated that outcome, which we had predicted.
The market has also begun the process of moderating. We have spoken often about the outsized returns of technology companies and the fact that many parts of the market have not kept up. Over the last month we have witnessed those ignored areas making up ground, while the technology firms have seen their stocks go nowhere. It is a short time period, and it may or may not be lasting, but it seems to go along with the prevailing mood.
This year we have experienced a global pandemic and an extreme reaction to that pandemic. We have seen extreme social unrest in our cities. We have heard extreme ideas put forth by what are supposed to be serious people. Even in sports, the NBA evidently got together and had a championship that no one watched. College football is on-again-off-again every week, and even the Masters was played in November. Azaleas do not bloom in November for anyone, not even the powerful membership of Augusta National.
We long for normalcy, for moderation. We don’t often think of moderation during this time of year, because it is Thanksgiving after all. However, even in a year when all we want is some normalcy, there is still much for which to be thankful. In keeping with our tradition, here is my list:
~ I am thankful for the perspective of 2020, for it is in the challenging times that we are reminded of what is important.
~ Having said that, I am thankful 2020 is coming to an end.
~ I am thankful for positive vaccine news, which assures us that there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
~ I am thankful for my wife, who has always been a loving mother but who has also become teacher and tech support.
~ I am thankful for my children who are growing and learning every day, even if they are wearing pajama pants to their zoom school classes.
~ I am thankful for my family, immediate and extended.
~ I am thankful for all of my friends.
~ Of course, I’m always thankful for Mama’s pumpkin cheesecake and for my loose-fitting pants, which make enjoyment of said cheesecake possible.
~ Finally, I am thankful 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