"The saying goes “time heals all wounds,” and while we can debate the overall wisdom of the statement, it certainly applies to the last 365 days in capital markets. At this time last year, in less than 21 trading days, we experienced the quickest market drawdown on record, from an all-time high to a 33% decline on the S&P 500. The magnitude and swiftness of the S&P 500 STILL wasn’t the top worry among investors. The top worry was a nascent, but ascending, global pandemic that caused government-mandated lockdowns, and caused our economy to bleed millions of jobs every week. Mile-long food lines, gut-wrenching stories of doctors and nurses desperately trying to save COVID patients, as well as barren office towers and lifeless downtown city centers dominated newspapers and evening news programs. Fast forward just 365 days and not only have capital markets healed (very much a secondary concern), but most importantly, the COVID pandemic is beginning to recede. A medical miracle born from the amazing power of modern science, human ingenuity, and government support, has blessed the world with multiple, powerful vaccines truly with astounding efficacy. While we need to remain vigilant as vaccine distribution grows and shots go into arms, it is hard to not sit back and be truly amazed by how far we have come in one year. The economy still needs to heal, with unemployment still at unacceptable levels, but there is truly light at the end of the tunnel, and that is a cause for rejoicing, thankfulness, and relief. In the first quarter, most equity markets, sensing that light at the end of the tunnel, were generally buoyant and positive in setting up an interesting second quarter scenario with high expectations for economic activity and growth. Whether those high economic growth expectations are met, only time will tell. We are on the cusp of putting a one-in-one-hundred-year pandemic in the rear-view mirror, and that is cause for celebration… indeed, we have come quite a long way in one year..." Click here to finish reading the Q1-21 Market Commentary.
Prepared by Schneider Downs Wealth Management Advisors, L.P.