| Hi Taylor:
Everything has changed a lot over the last year, and it feels to me
like the economy is still kind of fluctuating. Any idea how things
will look this year? What changes might be permanent? - Rebecca
Hi Rebecca: Of all the things that seem out of reach, permanence
tops the list. I won't go so far as to make any long-term declarations,
but I definitely have my eye on a few industries to see how recent
events shape them going forward.
The novelty of food delivery wore off a long time ago, but the
trend went from convenience to necessity overnight and I don't
expect it will go back as quickly. Everyone likes the option of
having food brought to their home, and now that the infrastructure
is in place, stores can make an extra buck with delivery and pick-up
orders and people can save time on shopping without paying too
much for the luxury. This pandemic has obliterated a lot of stigmas,
especially when it comes to how fancy you have to be to have groceries
brought to your home.
2. Fashion industry. Expensive clothing has always been a
luxury, and with in-person activities put on hold for so long,
money spent on fashion dropped tremendously. There's sure to be
a bit of a rebound when regular life resumes, but I wouldn't be
surprised if clothing retailers are forced to cut corners to keep
business going even after offices, bars, and restaurants get back
to capacity. In contrast, home furnishing spending has shot up.
It won't be the most obvious economic shift, but what goes away
in terms of business attire and non-essential clothing spending
might get replaced by home office upgrades and bulk sweatpants
3. Real estate. Contrary to what you might believe, real estate
spending has continued its upward trend during the pandemic. This
came as a surprise to a lot of people who predicted the summer
would be a disastrous time for the housing market. In a lot of
ways, I think this is good news since we've seen how bad a real
estate crash can be for the whole economy. It's a little concerning,
however, since we have a wealth disparity and affordability problem
when it comes to housing. Unemployment numbers still aren't great
and we're definitely not out of the woods yet, so real estate
issues could still show up in the coming year.
| This has been
an incredibly difficult year for so many reasons. It's hard to say
what will come next, but a thoughtful look toward the future might
be the best way to keep your head up. Hope this year treats you well!
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an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific
securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve
risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to
first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional
before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question
to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com,
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