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‘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, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’
A Happy (& Safe) New Year to my readers & fellow investors!
This time last year – or even last April – we had little/no idea of the #COVID challenge still ahead, but we’ve made it this far…and doubtless, after surviving 2020, we can surely look forward (America willing) to a far better 2021! If not, perhaps, in terms of superlative returns…but hey, that’s a hedge I think we can all accept.
Let’s try skip the #pandemic itself – I leave that to countless articles (‘The Plague Year‘) & a library of books to come – but obviously its consequences will reverberate here (& for us all). I must say though: I’ve been awed & inspired by the incredible effort & sacrifice humanity’s made to save lives, help those directly & indirectly impacted by COVID & come up with multiple vaccines at such an accelerated pace. But equally saddened – by comparison – to reflect on the fraction of preparation, effort, ingenuity & most of all expense that was perhaps required to prevent the worst ravages of COVID, let alone reduce or even eliminate some of the major health & social issues we endure (or scarcely even notice) today. Above all, great investors will focus on the character of management…it’s time we realize we need to assess the character of countries & their leaders too. And in both cases:
‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’
So let’s dive in – as a reminder, here’s a mid-year snapshot of my benchmark: