In what areas have you seen investment growth lately?
Jean Paul Lagarde
Faubourg Private Wealth
Since late last year, we’ve seen sectors more tied to the economic cycle (energy, industrials and financials) outperform. At the index level, (S&P 500) cyclicals are relatively underrepresented, posing a problem for set-it-and-forget-it portfolios. For bonds, interest rate risk at the index level is near record highs due to low interest rates. Bond indexes performed well last year as the Fed cut rates significantly; however, in 2021 we’ve seen rates increase with higher inflation expectations and economic optimism.
H. Jude Boudreaux, CFP®
Partner/Sr. Financial Planner
The Planning Center, Inc.
There have been headlines about cryptocurrency and high-flying stocks, but that’s counter to our investment strategy and philosophy, so we don’t have exposure there. Our slow and steady approach has seen growth in international and small-company stocks, which we expect will continue as global trade and tourism reopen in the aftermath of COVID-19. Large, short-term gains can easily turn into large, short-term losses, so we believe this is a time to be careful and disciplined.
Dorsey & Company
Many of us experienced significant growth in our home offices, home projects and home-schooling efforts. This, as it turned out, helped companies like Home Depot and Zoom do quite well. So, as we look ahead and try to identify areas of continued growth and opportunity, I believe it makes the most sense to look and see who has survived and thrived this past year. Look to those who may capitalize on all of our collective “cabin fever” and new, learned consumer behaviors.
Small Business Relationship Manager
Recent small business success stories have shared at least two of the three following traits heading into the pandemic: low leverage, flexible operations and multiple sources of revenue. Unfortunately, the growth witnessed has been far outweighed by declines of self-employed individuals and operations, particularly minority-owned businesses, caught off-guard by a prolonged economic slump.
Communication had an advantage last year since a strong product there serviced every other part of the business, but companies that empowered the individual user to create were also strong performers — whether they were physical goods or online entertainment. A reaction to a global pandemic, these shifts have become staples in our lives over the past year and leave us to wonder if work life and entrepreneurship will ever return to pre-COVID-19 practices.