Around the Tree

I came to Atlanta from Boston 16 years ago. I still get the comment, “you aren’t from around here, are you?” because I have a Boston accent—I work hard to hide it, but it still comes through sometimes. When I arrived in 2005, I noticed how many of my neighbors had also relocated from other cities to Atlanta. Now, I feel more like a native while Northerners keep coming down. I love the weather here and the friendliness of the people. I have raised my kids here, and this past spring, my youngest, Jack, will graduate from SMU in Dallas.

I met Travis at a CFA Society Atlanta event almost ten years ago. We stayed in touch and in October, I joined him at Circa Capital. For the last 20 years, I have been helping families preserve wealth and generate income through the use of equity options—investments that allow you to buy or sell a security for a specific period of time. Some clients work at a company their entire career and acquire a large amount of stock. I help these clients manage their concentrated stock, applying special techniques to help them reduce risk or generate income.

In addition to my work with clients, I am also very committed to helping young adults achieve financial literacy, so they can start their working lives with a plan. I believe all of us in the finance industry owe it to our communities to pass along our knowledge and experience, giving the next generation of investors the skills they need to succeed.

When I think about the Circa Capital motto, “Growing and Preserving Wealth,” I believe James’ and my backgrounds align more with Preserving wealth, while Travis’ expertise is more aligned with Growing wealth. All three of us are familiar with the markets and I am excited that we can bring a tremendous amount of experience and energy to helping our clients.

As we get into December, we look back on the year that has been, even as we look forward to the holiday season and the new year. Twenty twenty-one has been another year filled with the challenges of COVID. Even so, the markets were stronger than their historic average, increasing 24% year-to-date through November.

Perhaps a surprise to everyone, the most successful sector year-to-date was energy and the least successful was consumer staples. This highlights how difficult it is to predict what will work and what won’t. It also supports our decision to be balanced across sectors, and this year, that strategy has certainly worked.

There are a lot of reasons to celebrate for those with a well-balanced portfolio. GDP is growing and unemployment is declining. Of course, there are areas of concern also—inflation, stimulus politics, and the central banks. There will always be areas to watch and opportunities that present themselves to long-term investors.

“It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, but who’s around it.” ~ Charlie Brown

Last month, I experienced the wedding of my daughter, Meghan, in Houston. She is the oldest of my kids and the first to be married. It was a very exciting time for our family, and everyone there seemed so happy to be celebrating after such a long time away from each other. It really feels like we are starting to appreciate who we have with us, and enjoy the moments!

There is a lot to be thankful for as we end 2021. The new year will be here quickly and we hope you and your family can stop, enjoy and celebrate the season.

~ Steve Davenport, CFA