Investment Insights & News

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown

March 17, 2021

The financial markets these past several months have inspired a myriad of acronyms and pithy phrases. It reminded me of the wonderful classic animated Peanuts show from the 1960s. In it, Lucy asks a seemingly depressed Charlie Brown if he thinks he has a particular phobia.

Hypengengyophobia (fear of cats), Thalassophobia (fear of the ocean), or Pantophobia (fear of everything!), this last one hits the nail on the head. Loveable Charlie Brown is afraid of everything.

If Lucy was having a financial markets discussion with Charlie Brown today she might be asking whether he has a new phobia, “FOMO”, a fear of missing out (on further stock market gains), or if he feels a bit “TINO”, there is no alternative (to stock investing, given bond yields are so historically low). She might ask, “hey, Chuck, do you think “TTID”, this time is different? (from other historically high stock markets).

If Lucy were speaking to a bunch of Robinhood traders they would probably say, “hey, Boomer (Lucy would be about 63 today), YOLO, you only live once” (keep trading Gamestop and Bitcoin, it can only go up from here).

It’s true, we do only live once but we want that one life as financially stress free as possible. That’s why a well-diversified portfolio is essential.

Thanks to the Federal Reserve keeping rates near zero, the Congress approving a $1.9 trillion relief package, and the expectation of massive infrastructure stimulus to follow (in the $3-4 trillion range), the gifts just keep coming.

It’s quite likely the market could move upward into the second or third quarter of this year. At some point the gift giving must end, and Mr. Market will extract some revenge. In the meantime, we’ll gladly accept further stock market gains while we maintain a degree of safety in your well-diversified portfolio.


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