January 2021: Views from the Crowsnest

Welcome to the January 2021 edition of Views from the Crowsnest. My intention is to make this newsletter the shortest ever.

While 2020 will be remembered by most folks as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe that far more consequential things unfolded. The pandemic was the headline, but the real story was and continues to be 1) the accentuation of clear differences of worldview, and 2) an acceleration of the creep of global socialism.

The great news is that – thanks to the skill and temperament of our Portfolio Managers – our retired clients have all made it through the massive volatility in early 2020 with their financial independence intact. Those not yet retired will not need to defer their retirement date. Tellingly, Martin Armstrong entitled his recent conference as, “World Economic Conference 2020: The End of Democracy. Rising Markets.” All is not lost.

Well known Dilbert creator (and trained hypnotist) Scott Adams asserts that we do not decide our own opinions; they’re assigned to us by the media sources we consume and trust. I strongly agree, so I view sources on both sides of our political spectrum…because both sides lie and spin for their chosen team. My hope is that readers might adopt a similar habit, and think for themselves.

I mourn the death of reasonable centrist views, both left and right. Polarization is deeply damaging to civil discourse, and I’m totally finished with the incessant propagation of fear and panic from all levels of government and their communications department, aka the mainstream media.

In a recently recorded video that will air during Michael Campbell’s World Outlook Financial Conference (Feb 5 & 6), I asked if people are feeling like they’re crazy after years of “gas-lighting” by the mainstream media. To wit:

Are You Crazy If You Believe…?

  • In the Sovereignty of the Individual (as opposed to allowing a police state)
  • In Equality of Opportunity (NOT Equality of Outcome)
  • The answer to “bad speech” is more speech (not de-platforming, or “un-personing”)
  • Today feels like both “A Brave New World” AND “1984,” and

Are You Crazy If You Believe That…?

  • A fair, unbiased press & open access to the public square are essential to a free society
  • Free, fair & transparent elections are fundamental to public trust and civility
  • Government over-spending creates both longer-term dependency & financial risk

These classical liberal views are part of the foundation of a great, open democratic society. Many public figures seem to have forgotten these principles, if they ever embraced them. Ideas matter, per se, and all elections have consequences.

THINK, while it’s still legal. Secret handshakes may soon be required. What did Mike and the Mechanics know back in the 80’s? Give this a listen.

While we cannot change what’s happening in the world at large, we’re very grateful for the skills and calmness of our Portfolio Managers. They continue doing a fantastic job of filtering out the noise and remaining focused on their only job: preserving and growing client capital.

And despite the state of the world, we are actually “net optimistic” for the next couple years…albeit with bumps along the way. A strong start to 2021 in Equity markets is a real blessing.

If you didn’t have the chance, click here to view our Dec. 15th webinar, The Great Reset, Viruses & Government Debt, where I share more in-depth thoughts on the markets and strategies used by our portfolio managers.

Patience and Discipline are accretive to wealth, health and happiness; so focus on these.

Andrew Ruhland

Founder, Integrated Wealth Management