Updated: Feb 23
As the bells tolled at midnight on December 31, bringing to a close a year unlike any other in our lifetimes, the entire world collectively looked to 2021 in hopes for a new beginning. 2020 began with concerns about a trade war with China and the prospect of a Presidential impeachment, as well as the uncertainty of the upcoming Presidential election. The stock market had just completed a year of robust returns and the economy was incredibly strong, with unemployment rates at record levels.
No reasonable person could have possibly envisioned the nightmare that was about to engulf our nation and world. On January 9, there was an announcement about a virus in Wuhan, China. Within three months, the world would be overtaken by a pandemic that would bring our economy to its knees, destroy nearly 40 percent of the world’s stock market wealth, lock down life as we know it, and force nearly 25 million Americans on the unemployment lines. And who would have believed that, as the year 2020 would finally and mercifully end, the pandemic would be raging at unprecedented levels of infection, hospitalization, and death?
Before this past year, most of us thought Zoom was a verb, not our primary source of social, business, and educational engagement. We have all had to understand the new language of the pandemic as we learned to be socially distant or shelter in place. We also had to adjust to life behind a mask and separated by plastic barriers.
If the challenges and heartbreak wrought by the pandemic was not enough, we dealt with social unrest, electoral chaos, wildfires, and attacks on symbols of America’s past leaders. There were countless debates in cities and towns across America about defunding police departments. Films, concerts, and live public events were cancelled, and fan attendance in sporting events virtually disappeared. And that’s not even mentioning the dysfunction in Great Britain’s royal family as Harry and Meghan effectively quit their royal jobs in the middle of an economic crisis to flee to America.
With all of these challenges, there were a few shining moments. Across America and the world, we came to recognize a new type of heroism. In every community, front-line healthcare workers risked their health and that of their families as they battled COVID-19 and endeavored to save as many lives as possible. Drug companies shared vital data and delivered effective vaccines at record-breaking speed. Essential workers and first responders answered the call to serve and protect our citizens. Businesses adapted, innovated, and overcame challenge after challenge to rebuild our economy and begin to restore lost jobs.
As we now look to the hope and promise of a new year, we are still dealing with significant challenges that did not disappear with the ending of the old year. We are embarking on a new journey politically with a significant change in ideology and probable changes in directions for future taxation and government policy.
Each member of our Pickler Companies family is firmly committed to ensuring that your interests are protected as we navigate these turbulent waters. Together, we will develop appropriate plans and strategies to empower your success. With vaccines flowing and our economy recovering, there is an undeniable light at the end of this pandemic tunnel. I believe 2021 will represent a new beginning. As your Advocate and Advisor, we are prepared and energized to adapt, innovate, and overcome any and all challenges as, together, we partner to help you achieve your dreams of a brighter future. Thank you for the honor of serving your family. Together, we will overcome any challenge. May God Bless you and your family.
David A. Pickler, Esq., CFP®
Pickler Wealth Advisors