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Quarterly Market Outlook

The Clear Harbor Market Outlook is a quarterly market update.

Clear Harbor Outlook for 2021 Q2

As we pass the first anniversary of the lockdowns that rocked our nation and world, we at Clear Harbor are both astonished and grateful that many of you have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Like you, we remain forever grateful to those in the scientific community who made it possible to look beyond the painful losses of the past year and make our way through 2021 with growing confidence. We are also thankful to all of our clients who leveraged our work and professional resources during this period, including in ways that some had perhaps never imagined. At moments like this we realize the importance not only of family, but of strong partnerships across those other, larger communities—professional, civic, social—of which we are so fortunate to be a part.

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Clear Harbor Outlook for 2021

As our annus horribilis draws to a close, the craving is palpable for an annus mirabilis next year to make up for it. Many prospects are indeed bright: the record-breaking development and initial distribution of coronavirus vaccines; a new aid package ultimately signed by the outgoing American president; the conventional manner of his successor. All promise that a return to some sort of “normal” is at hand. We have paid a heavy price for such a return, in both human and financial terms. Yet much of what the pandemic changed will not revert so simply. In fact, some long-term shifts in how we live and work will likely accelerate further. And even as the rhythms of our personal and business dealings revive, certain structural headwinds to the U.S. economy will persist—and with them, a degree of secular stagnation.

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Clear Harbor Outlook for 2020 Q4

The global economy remains marked by uncertainty over the trajectory of the global pandemic, yet the power of the virus to shock has diminished substantially. Even as U.S. deaths passed the grim milestone of 200,000, many schools resumed some fashion of in-person instruction; businesses are chomping at the bit to reopen. Markets have been buoyed by rock-bottom interest rates, better-than-expected corporate earnings, and meaningful rebounds in housing, employment and other economic data. For students of human resilience and market optimism, it has been a dizzying year. For stewards of client capital, enormous challenges remain as we survey a landscape of elevated valuations across major asset classes, political disarray, and persistent questions about when and how we will tame this virus.

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Clear Harbor Outlook for 2020 Q3

When I penned our preceding Outlook just three months ago, the equity market had collapsed so rapidly as to make the multi-quarter pace of the financial crisis seem almost leisurely. Despite many differences between the two periods, one thing is the same: Now as then, those who stuck to a disciplined approach to asset allocation—including rebalancing where appropriate—were able to incrementally benefit from this moment of extreme market dislocation. The team at Clear Harbor believes strongly that discipline is the surest defense against many blunders in wealth management. We are grateful to our clients for trusting our process, and for working with us to ensure that our strategies for achieving your short- and long-term objectives remain aligned with your own tolerance for risk.

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Clear Harbor Outlook for 2020 Q2

As we embark upon the second quarter of 2020, the entire Clear Harbor team hopes this commentary finds you and your family both healthy and safe. We also reflect on those who are working on the front lines of this COVID-19 crisis, particularly the healthcare professionals who put themselves at risk so that they can tend to the seriously ill, which often requires painful sequestration from their own loved ones. Indeed, as we all wade through this moment of historic uncertainty, I suspect we are all reminded of what is most dear and precious in our lives. We mourn with those who are suffering so much during this moment, even as we persist in our commitment as stewards of your hard-earned capital.

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Clear Harbor Outlook for 2020

Ten years ago, the world wondered what would follow the extraordinary fiscal and monetary measures taken during the financial crisis. Would major economies transition to sustained flight under their own power, or crash back into severe recession? Ultimately, concerns about a relapse subsided. However, some crisis-era policies have become the norm—and urgent questions of political and economic realignment have been at the fore, at home and abroad, ever since.

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