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A Tale of Two Decades

By Michele T. Sarna, AIF, AWMA
1920s and 2020s

When looking back at the roaring ‘20s I think of flappers, jazz music and prohibition. However, it was a time of social and political change, defiance and the great stock market crash. Sound familiar? 

We’re barely in the first year of a new decade and it’s already lived up to the name of Roaring 20 with demands for social and political change, justice and crashing stock markets.

In 1920, the prohibition of making and selling alcohol was signed into law, leaving patrons to purchase and drink alcohol illegally at establishments under the radar of the law.

As of August, hair salons, nail bars and barbers are not allowed to operate (unless outside), leaving patrons to sneak around and get haircuts and salon services at businesses willing to offer services discretely.

In the 1920s, the tension between Russia and the U.S. was high. Communism was a big threat resulting in the Palmer raids, which targeted radicals, anarchists and immigrants.

In 2020, tensions with China and the U.S. are high. Although the year started on the right track with the first phase of a trade agreement signed by both parties, COVID-19 quickly turned the tables again. Amongst many other things, the U.S. ordered China to close its consulate in Texas, and President Trump ordered a ban on the Chinese-owned social media app Tik Tok.

During the 1920s, the Ford Model T was considered the most important consumer product. In 2020, it’s toilet paper.

The 1920s sparked the “Cultural Civil War,” according to History.com editors. Civil unrest between Black and White Americans ignited. Today, there is still civil unrest, which escalated after the killing of George Floyd, sparking riots and peaceful movements across the country, urging for social change.

The early 1920s were fresh off recovering from the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Schools had been closed, masks were required and large crowds discouraged. Today, we are in the throes of battling another pandemic, COVID-19; schools are closed, masks are required and there are orders to avoid large crowds.

The 1920s weren’t all despair. Women obtained the right to vote, the Harlem Renaissance gave birth to Jazz music and many African legends, television was invented, and the first Olympic Games were played.

As with our sister century, the 2020s will persevere and many good things will occur. Let’s just hope for a little less roar in the years to come.

Michele Sarna is a financial advisor at Beacon Pointe Advisors and can be reached at (760) 932.0930 or msarna@beaconpointe.com. 

Sources:
1) https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-roaring-twenties.html;
2) https://www.onthisday.com/events/date/1920/january;
3) https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/red-scare;
4) https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/roaring-twenties-history;
5) https://www.history.com/news/1918-pandemic-public-health-campaigns

This is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment, tax, or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any type of investments. Asset Allocation, portfolio diversification, and risk strategies cannot assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. Form ADV contains important information about Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC, and may be viewed at: www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

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