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Will Things Ever Go Back to Normal?

In February of 2017, during a BBC interview, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, "A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum. And when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will go back."

And it will. When I purchased my first home, the mortgage rate was over 14%. In the 1970's the gas pumps ran dry and lines of cars stretched for blocks. On March 5, 2009 the Dow dropped more than 50% to 6594. Yesterday, the Dow ended at 35,601. There are endless examples of highs and lows in our country's history, and when we follow them, we see that eventually things balance.

2019 was akin to the roaring 20's where business was booming, and life seemed like a day at the beach. Then the Tsunami showed up. We were tossed upside down with the Pandemic, expecting to emerge broken and hurt. Instead, 2021's U.S. economy is larger than it was before the pandemic - except now we can't get anything and what we can find costs a ton more. The supply chain is a mess and the pendulum is swung all the way to one side.

I've had a few people ask me if I thought things would stay like this. I do not. History has shown us extremes, no matter how bad they are, don't last. Unfortunately, the good extremes don't last either. Those of us who witnessed the great recession of 2007 may remember it was the most significant downturn since the Great Depression--homes foreclosed, Lehman Brothers disappeared, and government bailouts were needed to save many institutions. Had I believed then what I am writing now, I would have bulked up on stocks. But back then it was scary and seemed as if no end was in sight. Yet, the recession ended - and within a few years the country rebounded.

Chutes and Ladders, the game we played as children, taught us a great lesson about life. There are periods where we are quickly elated by reaching a ladder and there are times when we land on a chute and lose quite a bit of ground. But at the end of the day, we are still in the game, still rolling the dice, and doing our best to avoid the pitfalls of things totally out of our control. This period will even out, we will climb the ladder of survival and rebound. Eventually, like we have seen, the pendulum will balance and life return to an equilibrium we all comfortable with.

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