Tahoe Market Pulse: Be part of the solution, not the problem
November 23, 2016
We were inundated with bad news during the divisive and ugly campaign season and watching the 24-hour cable news shows was downright depressing. It's always easy for the media to focus on what is wrong, but they rarely show what is right. On this Thanksgiving, my focus is on what is good. There is a lot to talk about.
Of course, what we can be most thankful for is the advance in the stock market. We've been spoiled by a rising market with only very brief pullbacks. The S&P 500, which has advanced 220 percent from the 2009 low, is up 7 percent in 2016. And that is understating the strength of stocks. The S&P Mid-Cap index is up 15 percent and the S&P Small-Cap index is up 19 percent!
Many people have badmouthed globalization, but it has helped lift millions out of poverty. Consider this: According to the World Bank the number of people not living in extreme poverty has risen exponentially (largely a result of population growth).
But the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut in half since 2000! China plays a large role here. People in emerging markets have seen how others are living and they've decided they want that, too. Now!
Looking closer to home, conspiracy theorists often dismiss our low unemployment rate. Yes, you can pick holes in the data, but last week we learned that the number of people receiving unemployment benefits fell to a 16-year low. It's hard to put a bad spin on that!
The downside of global growth is usually increasing pollution, but there's good news on that front, too. Renewable energy, led by wind and solar, represents more than half of the new power capacity around the world. About half of wind and solar additions are in China. Globally, renewables represent 23 percent of electricity generation (coal is still larger, but the gap is narrowing).
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I suspect most readers haven't heard of these trends or many other good news stories. That's because bad news sells. But the constant barrage of bad news can be overwhelming, especially in this age of 24-hour news.
My advice: Don't spend long hours watching news for affirmation instead of information. Go outside and enjoy. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Have a great Thanksgiving.
David Vomund is an Incline Village-based fee-only money manager. Information is found at http://www.VomundInvestments.com or by calling 775-832-8555. Clients hold the positions mentioned in this article. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial adviser before purchasing any security.
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