Happy New Year! It’s officially 2022, and we’re excited about good things to come this year. We’ve missed you the past couple of weeks, and we’re glad to be back in your inboxes today.
This week we’re going to take a look at the year in review. Then, we’ll list our top five favorite things about the recently departed but always beloved Betty White, who passed away on New Year’s Eve.
Last year was quite a ride for the stock market, and the S&P 500, in particular, had an excellent year in 2021. Energy, real estate, tech, and financials did well. Some analysts generally expect stocks to continue their climb, given that many corporations saw a record profit growth of 45% in 2021. We continue to monitor our long-term diversified portfolios.
In fact, the stock market has been performing very well for years, even with the COVID-induced panic in early 2020. Analysts in 2019 pointed to an excellent decade-long run, and the stock market ended 2020 at record highs. For investors, this is, of course, good news.
America got some sad news on New Year’s Eve, though, when we learned of the passing of the legendary Betty White, just a couple of weeks short of her 100th birthday. As many have pointed out, that she could live such a life that we think of her as gone too soon at 99 years old is beyond remarkable.
In Betty’s honor, here are our top five favorite things about her (and believe us, it was hard to choose only five):
- She loved animals — in fact, if she hadn’t been an actor, she said she would have wanted to be a park ranger or zookeeper. The eight-time Emmy winner was given an honorary forest ranger title in 2010, an award she said would have made her parents more proud than any acting honors she’d won. She served on the board of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, volunteered for the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, received the 2009 Jane Goodall Institute for Global Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award, became an honorary zookeeper in 2013 thanks to the LA chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers, and more.
- She also loved people in a way that gave her great courage. White has a long-running track record of defying racism. In 1954, when she was hosting her first televised variety show, she invited a Black tap dancer named Arthur Duncan to perform. She received a great deal of backlash–this was, after all, the same year that the Supreme Court began to overturn legal segregation–and instead of bowing to the pressure, she invited him back. Her words were succinct: “Live with it.” Ever since, she has made a career of being a sweet person with unexpected grit in front of and away from cameras.
- Speaking of love, she met the love of her life, Allan Ludden, in 1961 when she was a celebrity guest on Password, which he hosted. She turned down his proposal at first, but he wore the engagement ring he chose for her on a chain around his neck until she agreed to marry him. They remained married until he passed away in 1981. Their Hollywood Walk of Fame stars are side by side. She never remarried, reportedly saying, “When you’ve had the best, why settle for the rest?” when asked if she would seek love again.
- She wanted other people to have love, too, and spoke out in favor of marriage equality in 2013. In fact, the beloved Golden Girls did a lot to support LGBTQ people way before it was cool. She stood up for animals, marginalized people, and women making a space for themselves in Hollywood. A true icon.
- She showed that age is just a number many times, including when she became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Live (she was 88) and the oldest person to earn an Emmy nomination (92). In fact, she was awarded the Guinness World Record for longest TV Career for a Female Entertainer, also at 92.
- You didn’t think we’d leave out the dogs, did you? Her devotion to dogs surpassed even her love of her career. She has helped countless dogs, and at one point, claimed to have 26 of them as pets. She left part of her fortune to her dog, Pontiac, a golden retriever she adopted from Guide Dogs for the Blind when he didn’t quite make the cut as a service dog.
So long, Betty. Thank you for being a friend.
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Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities are offered through Triad Advisors, member FINRA/SIPC. Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.