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2021 FFP Year End Letter

| January 01, 2022
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We hope this letter finds you safe and comfortable as 2021 draws to a
close. For better or worse, what a year it has been! The year started off
with ugly riots on January 6th at the Capitol, then saw glimmers of hope as
normalcy returned and COVID receded, only to see 2021 ending with
multiple lockdowns thanks to a dramatic COVID resurgence. I recently
heard someone say, “2020 stunk…2021 stunk less…So at least we’re on
the right trajectory.” I think that sums it up very well.


Despite growth stocks underperforming the second half of the year, 2021
was a very good year for the S&P 500 (up ~25%.) However, the market
now seems to be firmly at a crossroads. Those who view things negatively
have multiple issues to point to:

  • COVID is still here and causing tremendous economic instability
    across the globe
  • Inflation is significant and will likely not subside soon
  • Interest rates are poised to rise (to combat inflation)
  • S. politics are still a fiasco and the national debt only gets worse

And yet, while all the above is true, I would like to point out some of the positives heading into 2022:

  • We are getting better and better as a society in dealing with COVID
    outbreaks
  • Corporate earnings remain stunningly impressive
  • Good paying jobs are PLENTIFUL
  • $1.5 Trillion in infrastructure spending is going to start pouring into
    the economy
  • We are a consumer-based economy and never in my lifetime have
    people had more disposable income than right now

Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but I tend to lean towards the positives
heading into 2022. As I sit in a self-imposed-semi-quarantine, it is easy to
feel frustrated in the moment and look at everything that is going wrong.
The negative issues are real, and they can be very painful. However, the
factors that tend to have the biggest impact on the stock market are on the
positive side. I don’t think that 2022 is going to be a spectacular year in
stocks, but I do believe it can be a solid year that produces positive
returns for your portfolio. In other words, I believe we’re on the right
trajectory.


On a personal level, looking back at 2021 we had some remarkable
milestones for the FFP team. Melissa got engaged! Judy found out her
family is expanding and has a grandchild due in June. Kim’s Lab, Miles
and Dalmatian in training, Paxton are raking in the ribbons. Our oldest
daughter, Gabrielle, graduated from college and started her career in
NYC.


Because of your word of mouth and faith in us, Freedom Financial
Planning had its best year ever. Judy and I want to thank you for the
patience in dealing with Zoom meetings, masked in-person meetings, and
the topsy-turvy nature of how business is conducted lately. We know that
without you, there is no Freedom Financial Planning. As the old year
draws to a close and the new one is about to open its curtains, we wish
you peace, joy, and prosperity for 2022.


Happy New Year!


Michael, Judy, Melissa and Kim

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