Hi, everybody. It has been a busy week. Even though the market continues to drop, frankly I don’t have much to say that I haven’t already said. So, this will be a very short post!
When we look at yesterday’s market performance, something stands out. It’s not just the magnitude of the decline, bad though it was, but the speed. And it wasn’t just yesterday, as this past month has seen pretty much all of the decline for the past quarter and well over half of the decline for the year. In other words, the market has essentially been down all year. It started to stabilize in March and April—only to collapse again in May. That’s scary.
This will be a short post as I am back from a Commonwealth conference and catching up. There are lots of things to think about, on both a professional and personal level, and I will share more going forward. As always, it was great to see my Commonwealth friends, old and new, and do some really cool stuff including a cooking class (didn’t see that coming, did you?) and a Red Sox game with Tim Wakefield, who very nicely signed a hat for my wife. She did very well out of the conference, with the hat and a signed pastry cookbook. You have to take care of the home front.
Today, I’m attending the Commonwealth Chairman’s Retreat conference. Of course, we’ll spend some time discussing business and the markets, but we’ll also get the chance to look at issues beyond that and into our own lives. Longtime readers may remember my column on gratitudes, where I talked about a Chairman’s presentation by psychologist Shawn Achor on how simply writing down three gratitudes a day could change your life for the better. I tried it, and it worked. I have now written down my gratitudes every day for several years, and there is no doubt it has made a very positive difference.
All eyes were on last week’s release of the consumer and producer inflation reports for April. They showed that inflationary pressure moderated during the month following a surge in March, but there is still a lot of work to be done to get rising prices under control. This will be a busy week of economic updates, with reports scheduled that will cover retail sales, industrial production, and the housing sector.
Much of the discussion around the market decline so far this year has been, first, why is it happening and, second, how far will it go? Most people are looking at the market as an independent entity, trying to second-guess how it will act in the future. Most people will, inevitably, be wrong.