by Colleen Gillespie, CTFA, AIF®
The full quote from Charles Dickins’ infamous book A Tale of Two Cities goes like this. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” I don’t know about you, but this quote fully depicts the highs and lows of 2020 and the first weeks of 2021.
There is much to be grateful for here at Sawston Wealth. We are all healthy, we experienced a 20% growth in assets we manage and added two new advisors, Peter Samuelson and Jacob Fallon last quarter. Stacey and her husband, Devon have a healthy newborn boy named Sawyer, and she successfully moved across the country and opened our North Carolina office. All of that occurred in 2020 during a pandemic. We are blessed! Perhaps it is our nature and values to embrace the season of light, the spring of hope as Dickins describes, not in a Pollyanna-esque manner but choosing to see the good that has occurred and hope in what can be. That does not mean we don’t see the darkness, because we plan for it and make adjustments as needed, but rather we choose to focus on the light.
Looking ahead in 2021, we’ve recently developed our investment thesis for the year. After each spending numerous hours in Zoom meetings, watching webinars, and reading reports by market and economic analysts, we are still bullish that the markets will produce a positive return this year. We see opportunities in international equities and emerging markets as vaccinations increase across the globe. We still see growth in US equities, although different sectors may outperform the previous leaders of the pack. In the near term, an additional economic stimulus package will give another shot in the arm (pun intended), to the US economy as we recover from lockdowns and look forward to reopening.
In the next few weeks, we will be completing our semi-annual rebalancing of portfolios to align with our forecast. If you have specific questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We love to share our data!
Another area of focus for us this year is to ensure any barrier to investing is removed. We spent the last three months focusing on our model portfolios and processes so that anyone who wants to get started on reaching their financial goals has access to low-cost, professionally managed portfolios with people they know. They may not want a full-time financial advisor, nor will they have thousands of dollars to invest. But they have $500 to get started and are willing to add a small amount to their account each month. Please see the article on Sawston Direct, our entry platform for those that want a local person to manage their funds, not a bot on the other end of the internet or call a 1-800 number to get a question answered.
We also have best in class ESG portfolios using funds that will only invest in companies that make positive impacts on the environment, social causes, and governance (ESG) issues. We’re here to serve all who want to save, reflecting your personal values and goals.