What 2022 has in store for us?
A year ago, we had hoped that the worst was behind us. After the initial scare in February and March of 2020, there was hope with decisive measures from many governments. This and due to a lack of opportunities to spend money in shops or on a holiday, unprecedented savings were made, private individuals finally experienced that having savings costs interest and much of the capital of households was diverted to the stock exchange.
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The stocks’ ride up between April 2020 and July 2021 has rarely been seen in investors' history. Unfortunately, many people now think that investing only has winners and they do not always do sensible things. Some students use their student loan to invest. We have been around for some time and have experienced some very substantial market corrections. So if you invest with money that you do not have and you also put yourself in debt, you might have trouble climbing out. This is especially true for crypto, we think. Super interesting technology but this "currency" current basis is a lot of hope. Hope you are not the last buyer. It's going to come some day we agree with those who have hope. We do not yet know when and to what extent. So we look in other areas.
Uncertainty is growing around us. In the first place in the families. The arc of lack of personal freedoms has been tense for so long. There are more conspiracy theories than good for society. We all know someone who is in poor health and you do not wish that person to stay in an already overstressed hospital. All this makes people hypersensitive. We are easily distracted (our smartphones do not help) and there are many places where stories arise without a basis that turn out to be credible enough to cause hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, Insta, etc. And because people at a distance from each other become lonely, sometimes also more gullible, stories turn out to bind and then herd behavior can also follow. There are currently many herds. And it seems that they are repulsed more strongly to each other the closer they are. Politics are under the magnifying glass. Where normally only a few hundred thousand inhabitants worry about policy, that is now multiplied. Logical in our view. We are all confronted with deviations to familiar situations and want to “go back to normal”. And where there is a deviation from the average hoped-for direction, loud protest is the result. People are people.
A lot is being done behind the scenes to "keep things together". In the first place, government spending dwarfs all previous support operations. This buys time. Should there also be armies of unemployed, the powder keg might become glycerin.
The initially large financial shock of spring 2020 has caused an unexpectedly substantial intervention in manufacturing processes. A few months ago, major disruptions occurred in the delivery of many goods. It takes time to fix that but a lot of what had to be done happens so that recovery comes. This is of great importance for confidence in the economy. Then there is the social impact of the virus family (we can speak of that in the meantime). The heroes and heroines in science and care do what they can but there is no magic wand yet to permanently eliminate the problem.
We think that the virus will be with us for a long time, that it will take a long time before the world population (as long as there are countries with a low vaccination rate, the disease continues to spread) is sufficiently vaccinated, that the return to normal of 2019 will take some time yet. We expect we will experience lock-downs and the releases thereof for quite some time, and need especially patience with and around each other. Uncertainty remains, but financial confidence will remain stable. It may not seem like much, but the last time the world's population experienced something of this magnitude, little of it remained and the prospects are really much better in that respect.
So it is about caring for each other and with some good will and attention we hopefully also get the impatient more with us.
In this context, making decisions about your financial life can feel a challenge. Before you make or delay that decision, please reach out to a financial advisor. This could be your best New Years resolution.