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Surveying the Landscape

Keith J. Hardman
Published on August 17, 2020

“I am the one thing in life I can control.” – Hamilton

If you have seen Hamilton, Broadway’s retelling of the story of a founding father, you may recognize the line above. Hamilton opened in 2015 and was recently introduced to a much wider audience this past month via Disney+. I am among the many who have watched the musical this past month and now I find the songs rattling around in my head on a non-stop loop. However, the line quoted above from Aaron Burr’s character has really struck a chord. As most of us come to learn from an early age, there is actually very little in this life that we can truly control. While most of us expend a lot of effort to plan and strategize to protect our assets and our health, there are still many things in this life that we have very little, if any, control over. We have seen this demonstrated acutely in the first half of 2020. The list of out-of-the-ordinary occurrences this year seems to bear this out.

For those watching closely, the market’s reaction to the events of this year has certainly been quite interesting. The market’s recent fall and subsequent rebound speak to the inherent unpredictability of its daily performance. In many ways talk of pandemics, impending recessions, protests, school closings, upcoming elections, and so forth, just add to the ‘noise of the market’. This can distract investors from their long-term strategies for meeting their investment goals. We would not credit anyone claiming to know with certainty how things are going to play out with either the global pandemic or the market over the next twelve months.

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