It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to planning weekly dinners, which is a trap we’ve fallen into numerous times. The same dishes that were once something new and exciting become routine at best. We are all creatures of habit, and when you throw two working parents and two very active kids into the mix, convenience and predictability often trump adventurous and excitement when it comes to meals. Once in a great while, Jill or I will stumble on a recipe that appears too good not to make. Unfortunately, they are often complicated, involve exotic ingredients or just simply take too much time to make. The result being that the meal (usually cooked with a child hanging off your leg) just doesn’t live up to what you had envisioned it to be in your head. Such was not the case this last time around, when I found a recipe for Bucatini Amatriciana, a Roman pasta dish that I’ve dreamed about since I was in Italy.
My first racing experience at Lime Rock Park (LRP) will certainly not be a “one and done”. Now for the details. My friend Bob McSherry invited me as his guest to a Porsche sponsored event at LRP in Lakesville, CT. Truth be told, I had no idea where Lakesville was but thankfully GPS guided us through the 75-mile drive to the northwestern corner of the state. It was a long but beautiful drive and for both of us it was our first trip to LRP. Porsche of Wallingford and Hoffman Porsche from Hartford co-sponsored the event. Being a Porsche guy myself, this was an opportunity I was not going to miss out on and the days leading up to the event, I felt like a little kid looking forward to Christmas morning. I shared this with Bob during our 90-minute drive and he agreed he had been looking forward to the event as well. When we arrived, the excitement swelled as we could see the Porsche flags blowing in the wind lining the access road and we could see the various Porsches lined up on the track just waiting for some drivers. It was so cool.
In what always feels like the blink of an eye summer has ended. Autumn came not-so-quietly rushing in with a bout of equity market volatility that persisted through the month of September and into October. The old adage “sell in May and go away” could not have been further from the mark this year with the S&P gaining over 7% from May 1st to August 31st. This was immediately followed by a 5% pullback in September which wiped out Q3 gains in most major market indices, a notable exception being the S&P 500 which barely squeaked out a positive return for the quarter. It took a full 9 months, but the S&P 500 experienced its first 5% move lower in 2021. To put that into perspective, there have been only six calendar years ever where the S&P did not experience a 5% pullback at all. While it may feel like a shock to the system, this level of short-term volatility is completely normal, and surprisingly less dramatic than expected by historical standards. Investors are constantly evaluating global risks to determine what they feel is fair value for the investments they want to buy, sell or hold. These decisions are impacted by the many headline risks that we see each day, but during the third quarter there were four main catalysts that made investors hit the pause button.