It is hard to believe that twenty years have passed since that fateful day we simply refer to as 9/11. In that morning of disbelief, it was hard to comprehend the magnitude of our nation’s loss. A total of 2,977 lives were taken from us including 344 firefighters and 71 law-enforcement officers at the World Trade Center and 55 military personnel at the Pentagon. The markets would remain closed the entire week, opening again that following Monday, making it the longest closure since the Great Depression.
The dot.com bubble had burst in March of that year, the S&P 500 fell more than 12% that opening week and the summer of 2002 saw the markets fall more than 20% and bottom in October of that year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a low of 7,197.
We remember that day and week vividly. We reached out to our clients to reassure them of the resilience of our markets and reviewed our nation’s history and the market’s reaction to major events. Then as now, we fervently believed in the strength of our markets and the power of our basic investment principles.
In the previous century, we endured depression, world wars, assassinations, the fall of a presidency and more. However, the list of 20th century achievements is almost too numerous to comprehend with the simplest examples being the transistor, penicillin, a walk on the moon and in 1973 the engineering marvel of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers.
Just weeks ago, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached historic highs above 35,000, again reaffirming our belief in the markets and our own investing principles. The last 20 years since 9/11 have also seen historic events that rocked our markets including the 2008 financial crisis, which marked the worst market sell-off since the Great Depression. Yet today, each of us hold in our hand a smartphone that is more than 100,000 times the computing power of Apollo 11. This technology and our human innovation have powered our economy and our markets to these new highs and enriched us all in the process.
Going forward, we will unfortunately endure more human tragedy and yet still benefit from human achievement. The markets will react to each. The events of that day 20 years ago transformed our world in many ways. As investors, we review lessons learned resulting from the economic impact of that event. As people, we know that the virtues we strive for each day were modeled by the heroes on that Tuesday in September 2001.
To all the heroes of 9/11 and today: We Remember.
We appreciate the trust and confidence that you have placed in us to guide your financial future. We are keenly aware of the responsibility we hold for you and your family.