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Corporate America steps in and gives us a shot in the arm

It appears we’ll soon have a third company manufacturing a vaccine. We’ve all seen the long lines of cars at vaccination centers and heard stories about people going to extremes to get on a waiting list.

I find it somewhat ironic that many people have recently been cheering for the drug companies rather than describing them as large, greedy companies the way many politicians have done.

Within the last year we’ve seen large, local corporate leaders including General Motors and Ford step up and make ventilators and other medical equipment. Additionally, several other various-sized companies kicked in and actually altered their manufacturing processes in order to produce medical related goods that were in short supply.

The many distilleries that began producing hand sanitizer are a good example. The point is that, from large to small, corporate America stepped in to help. In record time, they nimbly altered course to provide medical supplies needed by health care workers and the general population.

There’s no question that we still have a long way to go before we can put COVID-19 behind us. But as our economy begins to ramp up this spring, I encourage everyone to remember those companies that stepped up, not simply for profit, but rather because they were trying to be good corporate citizens and do the right thing.

Simply stated, the objective of turning a profit doesn’t mean a large company or a mom and pop store are evil. Wanting to make a profit doesn’t mean you’re greedy; it’s the purpose of owning a business.

The sad reality is that there are a lot of businesses in the food services industry that will never return. In addition, with the stroke of a pen, thousands of jobs have recently been lost in the fossil fuel industry.

Unfortunately, all of this adds up to a high unemployment rate, and it will likely remain that way for quite a while. Plus, it’s at a time when we’re seeing significant price increases across the board. In particular, the rising prices of homes and building supplies come to mind.

From a financial perspective, the markets were in their early stages of a nosedive at this time a year ago. And it lasted all the way through the end of March. Both households and businesses weren’t thinking profit, but rather, simply hoping for survival.

But somehow, someway, much of corporate America not only survived, they thrived. Some of our local firms like General Motors did well enough to reward workers who came to work every day with significant sized bonuses. Likewise, most investors who didn’t cave in to panic saw a nice rebound in their account statements.

I don’t have a crystal ball, and like the late, great Yogi Berra once said, “ It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But I have been able to guide my clients through six major downturns.

Since the future is unknown, and there are so many moving parts in our economy and because the financial markets have had a significant run up, I suggest that investors be mentally prepared for whatever comes.

Keep in mind that, over time, the financial markets inhale and exhale on an irregular basis. And it might be wise to be prepared for a pullback.

Know Someone?

Do you know someone who would like to meet with a financial advisor? Ken Morris 248.952.1744

 E-mail your questions to kenmorris@lifetimeplanning.com 

Ken is a registered representative of LPL Financial. Securities and financial planning offered through LPL, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Ken is Vice-President of the Society for Lifetime Planning in Troy. All opinions expressed are those of Ken Morris. LPL and Society for Lifetime Planning are independent companies. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.