American is doing better than you think

Scott Peterson Market Watch

Scott Peterson Market Watch

Markets around the world appear to be benefitting from global economic recovery.

After pointing out the United States’ economy is the heart of the global financial system, Barron’s reported that the S&P 500 has amassed 30 record closes this year, but is up just 1.2% since March.

Global stock markets have been delivering relatively robust performance this year as well.

Which makes us ask the question. Is America doing better than we think? Let’s take a look at innovation in the country right now.

In March, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) offered some ideas about innovation in America. It’s a topic that deserves some attention as “…recent data suggests that innovation is getting harder and the pace of growth is slowing down. A major challenge in business and policy spheres is to understand the environments that are most conducive to innovation.”

One place to look for examples of innovation is the sharing economy where innovations often echo the late 1800s. Back then, according to HBR, innovation primarily occurred outside of companies. In contrast, today the majority of patents go to inventors who are associated with companies. A good example would be developments in the Pharmaceutical Industry, or certainly in the vast array of technological innovations. Still, there are there parallels to the late 1800s, a period many historians celebrate as a period of rapid innovation. Some of these may not “stick,” so to speak, but they are just a few examples of ideas percolating below the headlines.

Ridesharing – arranging for a ride via an app – has changed transportation and become one of the industry’s fastest growing market segments, according to data from Statista reported by The latest rideshare innovation is Taco Mode. Hungry passengers can request rides that include stops at a fast food chains drive-through. One company executive described the option as ‘inverse delivery.’ The hungry are delivered to the food rather than vice versa.

The demand for Swiss watches has fallen off in the United States. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported exports to the United States dropped steadily (-9.6 percent) between 2015 and June 2017. Could the culprit be luxury watch rentals? Barron’s Penta reported luxury watch rentals are a relatively recent sharing-economy innovation. For a monthly membership fee of $149 to $999, watch lovers have opportunities to “…access experiences and embark on journeys otherwise unattainable – without having to spend a major chunk of their savings.”

The point is this: Don’t get too caught up in the drama of the news flow, much of which is negative. There are plenty of things that are happening under the surface that reflect times in the past that we now recognize as periods of rapid change that, in hindsight, changed America for the better.

D. Scott Peterson is CEO and head investment manager for Peterson Wealth Management. If you wish to contact him call 775-673-1100 or visit


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