The Starry Night

My family and I recently spent a weekend in New York City, and we packed a lot into a very short period of time. A boat ride around the Statue of Liberty, the Museum of Modern Art, Frozen the Musical, a “bubble” show, Gulliver’s Gate, delicious lunches & dinners, and a visit to Central Park. Yes, it was a busy weekend, but it was well worth it! Shout out to my in-laws Jim and Robin in Arizona who planned this awesome trip (and are loyal blog readers 😊).

The highlight for most of us (except for our 3-year-old, who definitely LOVED the bubble show!) was the Museum of Modern Art. I had no idea how many original works are housed there, and it was very impressive to see them in person. It was also a bit nerve-wracking to have our kids running around with no physical barrier between them and priceless works of art! I can easily imagine one of my kids grabbing Picasso’s “Guitar” and trying to actually play it! YIKES!

Our middle daughter (age 6) has always loved The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. I am not exactly sure where or when she became so intrigued, but she quite literally jumped up and down in front of it once she found it (another YIKES moment for paranoid Dad). Van Gogh painted The Starry Night in June of 1889 while in the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum, into which he voluntarily entered after self-mutilating his left ear. The painting is a variation of the view from the second floor of the asylum, and he apparently painted different versions of the view at least 21 times. That’s some very impressive output!

Lyla with The Starry Night

Speaking of output, the numbers for GDP growth in the second quarter are looking very good thus far. A lot of the growth can likely be attributed to a significant uptick in output per worker. In JP Morgan’s chart of the week below, “a 3.2% year-over-year growth in real GDP could be composed of a 1.5% gain in the number of workers and a 1.6% increase in the output per worker, the strongest such increase in over 3 years.” The comments surrounding the chart continue by hedging on the optimistic outlook, due to unemployment being at its lowest level since 1969.

Source: JP Morgan, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Still, the picture for economic growth in the US is pretty darn good, despite the uncertainty that the supposed “trade wars” are bringing to the market. It remains to be seen how exactly the tariffs will play out, and whether or not there will be any lasting effects on market performance. The S&P remains up solidly for the year, but the gains are very sector-specific. Consumer discretionary stocks (apparel, toys, appliances, etc.) lead the way with telecom stocks trailing.

According to Wikipedia, van Gogh created around 2,100 artworks in just over a decade. That’s a pretty staggering number, but he was considered both crazy and a failure during his lifetime. I can only hope that my daughter’s interest in van Gogh doesn’t go much further than an appreciation of his work!

Categories : Financial Planning

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