Growing up in South Africa during the apartheid years has made the issue of equality regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, important to me.
The events in DC this week remind me of 1994 South Africa, where Nelson Mandela went on to win the first free one-person one-vote elections. There was fear that white extremists would take to arms. In the end a few did in what is known as the “Bophuthatswana AWB Crisis.” The AWB (Afrikaner Resistance Movement) militia came to the aid of a vassal “bantustan” leader, who aimed to boycott the new elections, and hold onto power.
The stand-off ended after a policeman shot and killed three militiamen, and the rest fled and thereafter the threat faded. The South African democracy has held since then (with a few wobbles here and there).
No words can describe the feeling or experience of what we saw in Washington DC this week. But I do sincerely hope that reality has set in so that officials from both sides of the political spectrum will not allow this to happen again, as was the case in South Africa in 1994.
An unfortunate consequence of social media is the ability to quickly spread fake news and bogus theories on a mass basis, which allows and reinforces a greater number of people to believe their own $@&$ often divorced from reality. We saw the consequences at the Capitol this week, when rioters stormed the building.
The US elections have been decided, all challenges have been thrown out of court, and it is time to accept the facts and give a chance to the new administration to govern.
We have also seen exuberance in the stock market, with some technology and digital sectors trading at highly elevated multiples, driven by day traders who believe in endless upside. We witness the rapid surge in the price of Bitcoin and other digital currencies – which could possibly be rendered worthless one day, perhaps in reaction to an event.
While we are not bearish, and do see interesting investment opportunities, this is the time to take a reality check, to examine facts, to focus on where growth is real and to avoid the unreal, the fake and the contrived.
Here’s to a healthy, safe and optimistic 2021.
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Norman H. Chait, CFA Managing Principal, Nardis Advisors LLC, January 9th, 2021
Disclaimer: Nardis Advisors LLC (“Nardis”) is a Registered Investment Advisory Firm regulated by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance and compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations. Nardis does not render or offer to render personalized investment advice through this medium. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment or legal advice. Investment advice can only be rendered after delivery of the Firm’s disclosure statement (Form ADV Part 2) and execution of an investment advisory agreement between the client and Nardis.