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More Important Things

February 2022 Insight

We, or at least I, take investing and economics highly seriously. This is probably a mistake, and I should take life and myself less seriously in general. Then there are other times when the world reminds us that most of which we/I think is important pales in comparison to the truly serious events that sometimes occur.

There had been noise about a Russian invasion of Ukraine for several weeks, so the actual invasion shouldn’t have been a surprise. And yet, upon first reading the news of the invasion, and even now still in writing this, I am very much unsettled by the events. And while I know I shouldn’t be, I am almost offended by the stock market posting huge gains (after an initial crash) upon news of the invasion, with Friday being the best day since the end of 2020 for the stock markets. People’s lives are being destroyed and the market appears to financially celebrate?

Politicians choose their careers, and in making that choice they understand that dealing with conflict between countries may be a possibility. But the vast majority of us choose careers or paths of life that don’t contemplate war being forced upon us. The everyday population in Ukraine would certainly fit that description. A year ago, life was focused on the daily struggle to improve their lot and the future for their children. On Thursday life became focused on survival. Became focused on sending family members off to battle. Worries for children and a future of freedom, and so much more.

I have never had the opportunity to visit Ukraine, but there are several people in the extended Altus family who are from Ukraine and/or still have family and/or employees living there. In years gone by, I have learned how much they love their homeland, even while grateful for the opportunity that this country brings. I saw the pain they felt personally and for their family remaining in Ukraine when Crimea fell. I know that they are feeling considerable pain and fear now as well. For their country. For their family. For the future.

My thoughts go out to those I personally know to whom this war is a very real event. And my heart goes out to those in Ukraine whose lives have been changed forever, regardless of the outcome of this battle. My heart even goes out to my own children who through learning and reading of the events have lost of piece of their innocence, just like most generations have before them, but sad all the same.

With the current events confronting us, and despite ridiculous statements like many pundits claiming the current inflationary environment is due to the Russian invasion, I am not wanting to discuss economics and investing. I hope that you will forgive my distraction. As the shock of what is occurring wears off, I guess we will refocus on matters directly impacting our every day lives and we can discuss economics and real estate at that time. I will leave you only with this. The current inflationary environment is more serious and more impactful for a majority of Americans than most of us readers of the Insight realize. Let’s all be mindful of these impacts and help out those in need whenever possible.


In other news, many of you may have received a…shall we say “few” calendar invite reminders from me at the end of last week. Hopefully you also received a follow-up email with an apology and explanation. If not, the text of that email is as follows:

“This past evening (Thursday) an electronic storage company used by our IT company was unarchiving some items for documentation. During this process they managed to somehow reactivate my calendar for all time periods going back ten years. Everyone that was on an any calendar invite, whether I was the original scheduler of the meeting or not, received a reminder or a new invitation to the meeting. As much as we may want to relive all these glorious and insightful meetings (at least they were for me), you can delete these messages, as they were sent in error.

We have confirmed there has been no security breach in our system or any backups of our system.

I know this caused issues and confusion in many of your inboxes, and additionally required time for cleanup that could have been better spent elsewhere. I sincerely apologize. But on the bright side, if you would like to connect again sometime soon, please reach out so we can get something on the calendar (on purpose this time).”

Until next time…

About the Author: Forrest Jinks is CEO of Altus Equity Group Inc and a licensed real estate broker. Forrest has decades of experience as principal in a variety of alternative investment segments including real estate (residential rehab, in-fill development, multi-family, office and retail), debt, and small business start-up (online marketing and site retail). He can be reached at


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