The S&P finished up over 2.3% for the month of October as we continue to break stock market records on almost a weekly basis.1 Those who would have heeded the theory of “Sell in May” would have missed out on 7.5% market gains over the last five months. Corporate earnings have been strong for the most part, but probably most of the optimism in the equity markets had to do with more specifics coming to light on how tax reform legislation will be taking shape. In particular, the tax legislation is geared to reduce the corporate tax rate and allow corporations to repatriate cash sitting in foreign banks.
Investors continue to be blessed with a great 2017. Our economy is never perfect, but we have much to be thankful for. Unemployment dipped down to 4.1%, a level not seen since 2000 and GDP estimates are coming in pretty strong.2 Fittingly, we find ourselves in November, a time to count our blessings and give thanks.
I just returned from my family’s routine trip to Phoenix, where we act like kids for a weekend playing baseball on the Major League spring training fields. Our team played great, I’m sure we will have details in a newsletter article soon. The real news is that I’ve finally wised up and realized the true purpose and meaning of it all. What a ruse I have been a part of! Until now, Phoenix has always been about playing baseball and trying to get that championship ring. It has also been a great time to reconnect with my Minnesota brother and his family, and now that my son has been out of the house at college, it has become a great opportunity to catch up with him as well.
This year the light went on. We all work hard and play hard, but families often don’t take the necessary time to just be together. During one of our ball games I was playing third base and thought to myself, “I have a 73 year old father playing first base right now and my son is pitching on the mound. How lucky am I?” Definitely a memorable moment, but the special times come afterwards while talking over dinner, eating pizza by the hot tub of our hotel, or having long talks while waiting on our plane at the airport.
Make no mistake, I want that championship ring next year, but the family time is what I will truly cherish. Enjoy this month of Thanksgiving. May it be full of blessings and good cheer with your loved ones.
1 Thomson Financial
2 Bureau of Labor Statistics
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