Weekly Inspiration: Commitment is an act – not a word. Jean-Paul Sartre
It’s that time of year when economists and analysts look back at what occurred in 2021 and seek to forecast what will happen in 2022. We love to read those year-end reviews and we look forward to watching the forecasts play out in the new year.
It’s also a time where individuals reflect on the past year and often craft resolutions that they intend to keep in the coming year. It’s been our experience that many of these resolutions fall by the wayside early in the year. Generally, it’s a commitment issue.
As you read through the reviews and forecasts, it’s important to remember a key component of what you can do for your clients. Keep them committed to the goals they’ve set and the strategies you’ve implemented. The tactics can change, and the assets can be repositioned, but doing so with a firm handle on the commitment necessary to stay the course is a discipline you can provide for your clients. Strategy abandonment is to be avoided. Helping your clients to stay the course is particularly important as the urge to craft short-lived resolutions builds at this time of the year.
Year-end reviews are wonderful opportunities to reconnect with your clients and to provide the guidance they need. Doing so through a lens of commitment to consistent goals, will deepen your relationships and strengthen your practice.
Stocks Notch Record Highs
The end of the year is historically a strong period for stocks–a seasonal pattern dubbed “The Santa Claus Rally.” This year’s final week of trading did not disappoint as stocks posted healthy gains to kick off the week, despite a global increase in Omicron infections. Investors were buoyed by data that showed fewer associated hospitalizations, which helped ease fears of the variant’s economic impact.
The S&P 500 set multiple fresh record highs, with Wednesday’s new high representing the 70th such high in 2021, while the Dow Industrials recorded its first new record since November. Stocks drifted on low trading volume in the final two trading days of the year, capping a good week, a solid month, and a strong year for investors.4
Robust Holiday Sales
The market got off to a good start last week in part due to a strong holiday sales report. A major credit card issuer reported that consumer holiday spending rose 8.5% from last year’s levels, driven by an 11.0% gain in online sales. It was the biggest annual increase in 17 years. The spending by consumers exceeded pre-pandemic sales by 10.7%. The retail categories that experienced the highest sales increases were apparel (+47.3%) and jewelry (+32.0%).5
It was a particularly robust number in view of investor concerns about supply chain disruptions, port congestion, labor shortages, and wavering consumer confidence.
This Week: Key Economic Data
Tuesday: JOLTS (Job Openings and Turnover Survey). Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
Thursday: Jobless Claims. Factory Orders. Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Non- Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
Friday: Employment Situation.
Source: Econoday, December 31, 2021
4. CNBC, December 29, 2021
5. CNBC, December 27, 2021