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11.25.2022 by David Robinson

Thanksgiving Perspective

We observe Thanksgiving this week in the U.S. For many of us, the holiday means sharing and enjoying food with family and friends. We celebrate the “harvest.” Wikipedia Count me as one who is all in on the family, friends, and feast aspect of Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving also gives us a time and mental space to reflect on our blessings.

In this spirit, I can say on behalf of the entire RSWA Team how appreciative we are for our clients and friends of the firm. Whether objective or not, we are utterly convinced that our clients are unique and special. As my tenure at RSWA winds down, I am acutely aware of how fortunate I have been to serve and engage with our firm’s clients and my teammates over the past twenty-seven years. In this respect, as in so many other areas of my life, I know that I have been truly blessed.

We need to keep it real. There is much to be concerned and even deeply troubled about the U.S. and the world we live in. For today and this week, however, I am consciously noting some positive developments, which I think are also “real,” although subjectivity and temperament undoubtedly color my perception.

U.S. Stock Market Bounce Back: The U.S. stock market has rebounded sharply, over the past month. The S&P 500 Index is up just shy of 7% over the last 30 days. CNBC Please understand that this is not to say that the 2022 bear market is over or that a bottom has necessarily been made. But the bounce back is still substantial and heartening for investors. Remember that the stock market is a leading economic indicator.

Positive Inflation News: As with the stock market, it is way too soon to declare victory over inflation. The October inflation report was nevertheless good news. Month over month, the CPI increased 0.4% - annualized that would be 4.8%. That is still too high but was below the expectation 0.6%. CNBC Kiplinger If inflation continues to trend down, it gives the Fed more room to ease rate hikes.

Ukraine Is Regaining Territory: Russia is retreating in Ukraine and losing the brutal war it instigated without provocation. BBC No, the war is not over. Victory is not at hand. There is a long way to go. Russia is relentlessly pounding Ukraine’s energy system. Washington Post Big picture, this war has gone badly for Putin and Russia.

U.S. Midterm Elections Go “Normally”? In truth the midterm elections brought a sense of relief. Not necessarily because a particular party or candidate prevailed but because there appears to have been more acceptance of the outcomes as legitimate. We are in deep trouble as a country, if we continue to contest elections that appear to have been fair by almost all objective measures.

Pandemic Resilience: We are staying with our newsletter theme of noting progress but not declaring victory. Life is returning to “normal,” as we newly define it. My sense is that Covid has dealt massive blows to our country’s health, including mental health, economy, and our education system. Even so, we are a collectively resilient people and are coming back. This is heartening too.

Lifestyle Notes:

  • Honey is Healthy!? A recent medical research report touts the health benefits of honey, including positive impact on blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Reading these reports made my day. Oxford Academic
  • 7 Rules for Boosting Memory: Friend of our firm, Dr. Marc Millstein, offers his seven strategies for enhancing memory and staving off dementia. CNBC Marc’s new book, The Age Proof Brain, is out for those who want to dive deeper. It is available from the major book sellers.
  • Best Restaurant Chains: This is a list of the top ten customer-rated restaurant chains, as measured by food quality. Spoiler alert, Chick-fil-A comes out on top. Steak chain restaurants also fare well. I thought it was helpful and interesting but keep in mind it is pure customer subjectivity. Eat This, Not That!
  • Alzheimer’s Drug Development: Experts in this area are encouraged by the preliminary test outcomes from a new drug from Eisai and Biogen. One to watch. The Guardian
  • What Causes Obesity? Scientists simply do not agree on what causes us to become overweight. New York Times As someone who finds all the nutrition disagreements immensely frustrating, I am beginning to come around to the wisdom of Michael Pollan’s seven rules of eating. The seven rules have been further summarized into: “Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That is all I need.

Upcoming RSWA Webinar: Fritz returns! We have Fritz Meyer to talk to us about the economy and markets on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 4:30pm.

A Quote to Consider:What you do changes the trajectory of your life — not what you think.” Thomas Oppong

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As always, thank you for reading. Stay safe and be well. We look forward to hearing from you and connecting.


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