I absolutely love home grown tomatoes. I like to plant them from seed starting in early March and nurture the seedlings indoors before planting them outdoors sometime around mid-May. And then I wait…and wait…and then wait some more. My friends the squirrels, birds and other varmints wait as well. The slugs sometimes try to jump the gun and eat the leaves but mostly they favor my other plants like cauliflower. During the waiting period I keep the garden weeded and make sure to water and fertilize as needed but we can’t rush Mother Nature and so we wait. The anticipation revs up as the tomatoes take hold and start to grow. I usually plant many more plants than I think I will need because I know disease and my garden foes will strike at any time and reduce the crop output. At first the tomatoes come in one or two a day which are easily consumed and then it seems like overnight, the harvest is on and they start overflowing my kitchen table. Each day I have to decide whether I’m making a soup, sauce, salsa, bruschetta or other tomato-based item or give my neighbors some to spread some goodwill. At this point in the season, I don’t mind so much when my garden enemies take their cut because there is too much coming in at once. If you drive by any farmstand at this time of year, you will notice the price of tomatoes start to drop because they have the same problem; too much inventory to get rid of before things go bad.
Such is the current state of many retailers across the country. If you’ve ordered anything from overseas in the last few years you may have a similar experience. The merchants allow you to go online and order anything that they sell and then you may have had to wait…and wait…and wait some more. I just ordered a new computer from Dell and they said that the earliest that it can be delivered was in 3 weeks. They then promptly cancelled my order because one of the components was unavailable so I had to start the process over again. A tremendous amount of everyday items were ordered during Covid, held up at various points along the supply chain and then held at our ports due to a myriad of reasons. Now that the chains are sorting out and the ports are catching up with the backlog, many retailers are finding out that they are sitting on a glut of items and the sales are on. We are inundated with the talk of inflation these days but for many retail items (excluding food and energy) discounts can be found rather easily. This glut will eventually clear but if you have cash burning a hole in your pocket and can’t live with your 65” TV anymore, the 70” ones are dirt cheap. (My son just called the other day and told me this; he lives in a small one bedroom and just bought a larger TV for almost half of what his old TV cost and it takes up almost one full wall of his unit; I promptly told him not to call the next time he moves).
In time both the tomato season and supply glut will run its course and pricing will return to some level of equilibrium. Many stocks affected by the supply chain disruptions of the past few years have also gone “on sale” as the market has declined since the beginning of the year. If the lesson from my tomato garden holds true, the markets won’t stay down forever so taking advantage of “sale pricing” while it lasts may be a prudent action to take.
If you have any questions about your portfolio, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 703-740-4673.
Have a great remainder of the summer.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.