The current Russian invasion of Ukraine will create a great deal of uncertainty and speculation. We can expect there to be ripple effects through the energy markets, investment markets, and possibly the European economy to a limited degree. At present, this remains a regional conflict whose global impact is likely to remain limited.
The current bout of price volatility in the financial markets reminds us of March 2020 during the onset of OVID where we saw the market averages decline 30-35% in a matter of weeks. Although the current environment is not nearly close to that experience percentage wise, it can still be quite unsettling during the short term.
2021 Year End Thoughts
It is becoming more evident each month that our world may never be the same as it was a mere two years ago. The arrival of the COVID 19 virus and its mutation into the Delta virus and most recently Omicron seem to take us back one step for each that we’ve moved forward. Although science and the pharmaceutical companies will most likely provide vaccine protocols to eventually reduce the danger of this virus to flu-like statistics, the way many of us work and live has changed forever. Stay at home schooling, working from home, restricted traveling and entertainment all have taken their toll on us as social human beings. On the other hand, the popularity of Zoom meetings online as well as online education courses have allowed us more free time in our daily lives to pursue other interests and family time.
A Change in Sentiment?
Recent market trading may be signaling a change in investor sentiment. Retail investors have been buying individual stocks lately at a record pace. The lack of sports, concerts, and other activities due to the virus lockdowns have left plenty bored and looking for something to do. The stock trading fee wars have produced multiple trading firms that allow trades as little as $20 with little or no fees. This has led to an astounding number of people using their government stimulus checks to buy stocks as if they were in a casino hoping for big hits.