Christmas Cheer

By: David Smyth, December 14, 2017

I don't know about you, but here we are at the halfway point of December, in the crux of the Christmas season, and I feel like my head is on a swivel! Between preparing my home, taking my kiddos shopping for those perfect gifts for their loved ones, and the overwhelming number of boxes arriving in my office on a daily basis, well, it all tells me something is a afoot and it's coming faster than any of realized. 
Just today, three boxes arrived in my office. One was from Wal Mart and contained three Paw Patrol toys and a gift card. Folks, I have no idea who this is from. When Alex heard me say that, he promptly said, "Merry Christmas, I knew you'd like it!" and walked out of my office saying his "shopping" was done. 
Another box was very heavy, and I couldn't wait to see what was inside that one! I tore it open, only to find the stash of Soylent energy drinks I'd ordered for my meal replacement. Lastly, I got a package from K-Mart. K-Mart? I admit, I didn't even know they were still in business, but the box contained a pretty cool pirate ship. There truly is joy in opening all these packages this time of year, even if they're not for me. (Thanks Alex!)
But the Christmas season isn't just for opening packages. Around the office, everyone is a little nicer to each other, more understanding - and if not, there's always the leftover nip and nosh from our Christmas party last week to imbibe. 
We're also prepping for our annual staff Christmas party, where we get together for a nice meal and have an absolutely hysterical time with our traditional White Elephant gift exchange. Those of you who know our team know we have some very creative individuals. This is the week when we're all walking around the office looking smug because we just know our gift is the best. But we're not competitive or anything. In addition to our team celebration, we also know that there are only about 10 work days left in 2017, and we're all looking forward to time with our loved ones during Christmas and New Year's. 
Another thing our staff is celebrating is the addition of two interns, David Eads and Even Kear, who joined our team this fall. If you came to our Christmas Open House, they were the most popular guys in the room - the bartenders! Most of the time though, they're working in operations learning our business from the ground up. What I love most about having interns is the fresh perspective they bring to our office and how we do things - or how they think we should do things. Sometimes they're right, and we have implemented some new processes and procedures from having a fresh set of eyes on things. We're looking forward to seeing both of them continue to grow with us when they're back from spending time with their families. 
Speaking of new perspectives, we all know this has been a good year for the markets, and for most of you, I know it's been a good year in your personal lives too. But the year is almost complete, and we still don't know about taxes, and the Federal Reserve did raise rates yesterday by a quarter of a point based on the strong economic outlook. This bodes well for 2018. 
One thing I and the other advisors will be working on over the break is taking time to review what worked in 2017, and constructing some theories on what 2018 holds in store. We'll try to determine any changes that should be made your portfolio, just as we did a year ago when we sold the majority of our energy shares and bought into the financial sector. This turned out to be a win, as energy is down and finance is up. Although you may not have noticed since almost everything is up. 
Of course, most of you have been investing long enough to know that years like 2017 don't happen very often, so let's just consider it an early Christmas gift. And remember, just because we got this gift this year, we can't expect the same gift under next year's tree. We're looking forward to continuing this discussion as we start the first round of quarterly meetings on January 15, 2018 (and continuing until Keeneland opens in April!). So you'll have 90 days to pick our collective brains at the start of the year. If we have contacted you about setting up a meeting, please do call us back - we know it's a busy time of year, but we're planners after all. We're already thinking about 2018 even though 2017 isn't over yet. 
On behalf of our entire team, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of new years. 

Family Financial Partners | Growing Wealth, For Generations ™