This is a new installment in an ongoing series where Marc Bautis, Wealth Manager and Founder of Bautis Financial, comments on hot topics in the financial industry.
Since the first known cases of COVID-19 were detected in China, we’ve seen a number of notable mutations as the virus moved across the world. Some, like beta and gamma, didn’t end up being a huge deal. Others, like delta, spread rapidly and caused new waves of infection.
Now we have another variant on our hands: Omicron. And it could be a serious one… or maybe not. Unsurprisingly, markets reacted badly to the news last Friday and gave us our worst market day for the year.
Despite the chaos in the market on Friday, it’s been a relatively calm year.
Why? The short trading day and lack of overall volume over the holiday break gave the selling pressure a greater impact on the market than it might have had under normal conditions.
We’ve seen that pattern before, and it’s worth keeping in your back pocket: Bad news over a holiday often leads to outsized market reactions. Although the markets have been volatile this week alternating up and down days.
Is Omicron Dangerous?
Well, we don’t know yet. We won’t know for several weeks, until scientists can determine how the variant will respond to current vaccines and treatments. If it’s more virulent, it could have delta-level impacts on travel, hospitality and other parts of the economy. It could also turn out to be a tiny bump in the road. We just don’t know yet. The market is laser-focused on omicron news so we can expect rocky times until the uncertainty clears, or something else takes over the chatter.
So, What Can We Do?
Rather than try to predict the unknowable or speculate wildly without enough information, let’s do something else instead. Let’s take a deep breath, step back and focus on some ground truths. Everyone is tired of this pandemic and ready to move on. But the pandemic’s not done yet. We will continue to see COVID-19 variants. Most will fade into the background, and some will be more serious. New vaccines and treatments are continually being developed and released. We have been adapting to the virus for nearly two years and we’ll continue to get better at it.
Life is a gift and every day is extraordinary in some way. Let’s cherish that.Marc Bautis
Hopefully, we’ll look back in a few months and forget omicron ever hit the headlines. Until then, we wait, we watch and we count our blessings.
Maximizing Tax Benefits by “Bunching” Charitable Contributions
As we approach the end of the year, many people are considering making charitable donations. Depending on how much of a donation you make and where you are in taking the standard deduction or itemizing on your tax return, implementing a strategy called Bunching Charitable Contributions may be beneficial.
Cyber Monday Shopping Scams
CNBC recently published an article regarding three scams to be careful of during Cyber Monday, or anytime you shop online. One of the scams is fraudulent websites. It’s crazy how common this is. On a recent episode of The Agent of Wealth Podcast, I talked to Jim Markus, an online shopping expert from Brad Deals, about how to avoid this scam and how to shop smarter online.
Owning the Yankees
One of my dreams as a kid was to play shortstop for the Yankees. Derek Jeter beat me to it, and I shifted from wanting to play for the Yankees to owning the Yankees (or any sports team).
Yahoo recently published an article stating that Elon Musk’s wealth has increased so much that he could buy every NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL team if he wanted. The value of the teams in all four leagues is pretty close to his net worth of $287 billion. In our latest Agent of Wealth podcast episode, the Bautis Financial team discussed Elon’s wealth as we reviewed the book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future in the most recent installment of our Bautis Financial Book Club.