OPS Market Update Banks and International Travel

Hello friends!

This week, we’ll take a look at two indicators for how the economy is going: the banks and international travel. Then, we’ll share some work-life balance tips.

The six largest banks in the US released their summer quarter earnings, and things are looking surprisingly good for them. Goldman Sachs has even reached its best year ever in terms of revenue just three quarters into 2021.

  • Covid didn’t ruin the economy. In spring 2020, many banks stashed money away to prepare for a wave of loan defaults that never came. JP Morgan announced it’s releasing the $2.1 billion it set aside for this purpose.
  • Spending is up, according to Wells Fargo, who noted that debit card spending is well above 2019 levels on a week-by-week comparison.
  • The stock trading boom is continuing, even though many pre-covid activities are back. Five banks reported making an additional $51 billion in trading revenue over the last seven quarters when compared to the same period before covid.

International travel is another indicator for the health of the economy, and the good news is that beginning on November 8, vaccinated people will be able to enter the US by air. Non-essential land border travel from Canada and Mexico will also reopen. Everyone, citizens and non-citizens, will have to present a negative covid test within three days of arrival. This news boosted airline and hotel stocks, and is a good thing for the travel industry.

Remember that whatever the stock market is doing, we manage client portfolios based on individual and family goals, circumstances and in alignment with your Lifestyle Protector plan. Our portfolios have participated in the success of the bank/financial services sector within our large-cap allocations. We continue to monitor this sector.

Work-life balance has been a struggle for many people for as long as there has been work, but the pandemic didn’t make the balance better for many people. So what kinds of strategies work to enable folks to make the money they need while enjoying their downtime? Here are some tips:

  • Take time off to really recover. Working weekends can seem like a great idea to get a jump on the week, but then you’re never refreshed.
  • Organize your to-do list by priority so that the things that have to be done today are at the top, or in their own section, so you don’t miss them.
  • Say no when you don’t want to take something on or can’t manage it. It can feel scary, but you’re a whole person, and you’re allowed to prioritize yourself and your time. Say yes to the things you really want or need to do, and let go of everything else.
  • Prioritize fun, even if it’s small things like working on a hobby or catching up with a friend on FaceTime. If our lives feel like endless work, we won’t be able to find the motivation to dig in when it matters or see the joy in the little things.

For more ideas, check out this list.

That’s it for us! We’ll see you back here next week.

How We Help

This week we spoke with a business owner who had planned to retire in a few years but pushed back his plans due to the pandemic. He has sold a portion of his business to two key employees as a step towards retirement. We worked with him on forecasting new retirement dates, running cash flow analysis, integrating his 401(k), and whether he should develop a real estate portfolio to potentially supplement his retirement income. We love working with business owners to help them plan for their future, and protect and grow their lifestyle, so if you or someone you know could use this kind of guidance, please give us a call!

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Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities are offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.