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2021: 4th Quarter

2021 was a historic year by many accounts, but especially so for U.S. assets. The COVID monetary and fiscal stimulus across the developed world was 2X–3X larger than similar stimulus after the Global Financial Crisis and created over “$1 trillion in positive U.S. wealth effects from rising stock markets, rising home prices, and increased refinancing by homeowners,” (JP Morgan). As prognosticated in our Q1 2021 report, U.S. and global markets continued to grow throughout the year alongside global recovery. U.S. equities returned 28.7%, and per the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. median existing home price rose 13.9%. Unemployment reached 3.9% in December, the lowest since the pandemic began and nearing closer to the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%. Most impressive is that this all occurred alongside known and new mutations of SARS-CoV-2, supply chain disruptions, elevated inflation, discordant domestic politics and increasing geopolitical concerns.

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