As we wind down 2021 and head into 2022, let’s go over some of the investing and economic themes that concern me. Please keep in mind that I take these thoughts to be informed opinions, but certainly not investment advice. I can’t remember a more disconcerting time to be an investor, and the volatile times ahead can be seen as exciting or intimidating depending on one’s approach and investment goals.
First, COVID continues to dominate financial headlines as new political variants and reactions emerge across the country. My take on the pandemic, based more on social observation than epidemiology, is that we are heading towards a grim final stage. With public health officials seemingly caught in an echo chamber of vaccine warrants, masks and regional restrictions, as infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise, the public will shift from health skepticism public to the outright loss of faith. We need better answers to this virus. The good news is that those answers are on the horizon.
Oral antiviral drugs that can be used to prevent patients from going to hospital are emerging in the United States, and various vaccines are already approved in Europe. So while COVID may soon seem to be all around us and almost inevitable, I see new solutions on the way. COVID could disrupt our economy again this winter, but I believe the disruption will be short-lived as a lasting pandemic spring will eventually arrive.