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Sila Wealth Advisory

A Tale of Two Cities

                                             A Tale of Two Cities

To quote Charles Dickens “It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” And yes, I am referring to the year 2020. This Dickens quote popped into my mind on a beautiful October day when my wife and took a day trip to the pretty as a picture town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. For those of you who are not familiar with Chagrin Falls, it is a small town in a bucolic setting which makes you feel you are in a Norman Rockwell painting.  A classic Americana small town!  The businesses are small and locally owned and there is a majestic waterfall which dissects the town.

The sidewalks were crowded with weekend shoppers and everyone was wearing a mask to protect themselves and their neighbors from the Covid infection. The town is so organized they even had hand sanitizer dispensers on sidewalk stands. There were no stores or restaurants which were closed or boarded up and if people were not wearing masks one would have no idea, we were amid a horrible global pandemic.

On the way home my wife and I decided to order dinner from one of our favorite restaurants, Sasa, which is in a more urban part of town, Shaker Square. That is when I was hit hard with the gulf of the economic disparity of the Covid pandemic.  Normally busy on the weekends, the Square was virtually empty and looked like a ghost town. Many stores were boarded up and closed including two anchor restaurants. Homeless people were setting up camp for the night which was something I have never seen before in this once thriving area. Then I had a thought, more of a feeling, which felt like a punch to my stomach. I only live 4 miles from Shaker Square but there are no stores closed in my neighborhood and no one I personally know is homeless or deprived of food.

While 2020 with the Corvid pandemic, racial strife and divisive politics qualifies as the worst of times it may qualify for one of the best of times for our money.  The stock market has reached record highs and most of our accounts are worth than they have ever been. Which leads me to suggest this would be a momentous year to help our fellow Americans, who through no fault of their own, need food, clothes, and shelter. A few good local charities I suggest are the Cleveland Food Bank and The Hebrew Free Loan of North East Ohio. The latter loans money, interest free, to people of need and is non-denominational. Join me in a generous holiday spirit and donate to a local worthwhile charity.