This Week in South Carolina | September 11, 2020
Welcome to this week in south carolina i'm gavin jackson. As labor day passes, so too does the end of summer, and we speak with dwayne parrish the state director of parks recreation, and tourism. About how the year fared. Also we catch up with elise bidwell she's a financial advisor. We discuss what's going on the stock market and how you should be investing your money. Now for the latest from this week. Summer has come to an end, and with it one of the worst tourism, seasons, the state has ever seen. The ripple effects from the pandemic, reverberated. From hotels, to restaurants. Attractions. And more as the state tried to salvage the critical summer tourism, season, that helps keep businesses, afloat, year-round. Tourism, unemployment, was even worse than the great recession. And is still yet to come back and likely won't until a vaccine, is discovered. Meanwhile, all schools in the state are now back in session, only a dozen are given the option of face-to-face, instruction, five days a week, with others going all online, or a hybrid of both. Many challenges from last school year still face families, and educators. Including, internet connectivity. Though mobile hotspots, have been delivered to thousands, of families. And lawmakers, are working to fund further advancements, a newly announced investment, in data casting. Will soon connect thousands of remote students to their teachers. This partnership, between, etv, and the department of education. Through data casting. Will allow, etv. To transmit. Files, videos. And other computer, data. To computers. Through the broadcast. Signal. An inexpensive. Tuner, and a little tv, antenna. This will provide, students, and educators. Who do not have broadband. Internet, access, with the same instructional. Content, and educational, resources. That would normally, require, an internet, connection. Sadly demetria, bannister, a 28 year old richland 2 teacher, died from kova 19 this week, after testing positive, just days ago. She is the first teacher to die from the virus, and is one of more than 2, 800, south carolinians, to succumb to it this year. And president donald trump flipped on his offshore drilling stance this week, and signed an executive, order issuing a 10-year moratorium. On drilling off the coasts of florida, georgia, and south carolina. The moratorium. Gives strong cover to republicans, senator lindsey graham, and state representative, nancy mays, on what is a political third rail in the state. Something they have both been dinged on for previous stances. As well as south carolina. Senator, lindsey graham and tim scott, lindsay, thank you. Lindsay liked the idea right from the beginning, i said what do you think it took you how long about two seconds to say i like it, mace prefers, state nut federal control, to protect offshore waters, and graham supported, trump's 2017. Plan to open up coastal waters to drilling. The moratorium, comes weeks after the trump administration. Finalized, plans to open the arctic national wildlife, reserve, to oil and gas exploration. Joining me to discuss how the summer tourism season fared, is dwayne paris. Parish she's director of parks recreation, and tourism in south carolina. Duane welcome back. Thank you you're glad to be here, so that being said dwayne um, we just wrapped up the summer tourism, season, it was a pretty rough year pretty rough summer, can you kind of tell us how we fared what things are looking like right, now.
Yeah You know things bottomed, out really in mid april, that's when we hit our lowest point hotels, were below 20, occupancy, we had a number of hotels, closed, at one time reached. About 40 percent of our hotels, statewide, closed. Things picked back up after that, kind of with, memorial, day. We, got to about 58. Occupancy. Uh and then we had a rising, cases, and, spiking, cases, and, the publicity, around that. Brought us back down to below 50. And that's sort of where we are now in that regard, we're at. 50 or slightly, above, of course the problem is hotels still lose money at 50. And as hotels, go, so goes. Attractions. So go retail, so goes restaurants. So. Until we get more heads in the beds it's just it's a real difficult, time right now. So where's that kind of put us out for the year, in in projecting, out and you know obviously the summer's just been such a big big time for everyone. Sure well, yeah the bad news is, this this virus hit just as we're coming into the spring and summer our busiest, time. And it's lingered on throughout. So. We're 24 and a half billion dollar industry, we're going to have about a 45, to 50 percent, loss of that. About 1.8, billion in state and local taxes, we'll lose about 50 percent of that too. Um, you know, part of it is just you know our, unemployment, is still. Um staggeringly. Staggeringly. Low, compared to other industries in the state we're four times, the unemployment, of any other industry in the state. So until we get more people traveling. And more people in our state. Um, you know that that's just going to be the case i will say labor day weekend. Early reports was very good. Um. Consumer, confidence, is growing, uh, we measure intent to travel. And the percentage, of people willing to travel this fall is greater than it has been at any point in time so far. So, even though only about 65. Of the people are willing to travel right now, i see that number increasing throughout the fall. Obviously case numbers have gone down. And, i think that bodes well and i'm feeling better about the fall than i did two months ago. And when we look at, dwayne when we talk about how the summer is just a really big time for, hotels, and restaurants, to really make a lot of money, for the remainder of the year when they're typically breaking even, are you worried about any you know potential, permanent, damage as a result, of, this lackluster, summer maybe is that is that uh you know hotel, closing is that restaurants, closing, permanently, or what are you hearing what are you seeing right now maybe on the grand strand if we're trying to focus on one area. Sure, yeah restaurants, have been hit the hardest, um. At the end of this. You know post vaccine, you'll look back in a year later. 25. Of the restaurants, that you, were open before, will, will be closed, either. Permanently, or repurposed, at some other restaurant, or repurposed, as some other. Entity, whatever that may be, so, most um, restaurants, will leave space hotels, are a permanent, asset. There will be some bank drop cds, filed you may not see it as a guest because the lender will protect the asset and keep it open but. That's probably the long-term, lingering effects, if you will it's just a lot of bankruptcies. You know getting the industry back on our feet much like we went through after 9 11.. A little bit like we went through during the 2008-9. Recession, if you will. Some of those same, um. Bankruptcy. Filings will take place in closures.
We'll Come back in this, the good news is in some pinup demand people are tired of being sitting at home and so when they think it's okay. And we probably think for a large proportion, of people that's, post-vaccine. They'll go out. The demand, is there it's just not there yet. And so, when we talk about you know you mentioned the unemployment, rate being so substantially. Uh, higher for these folks that are in hospitality, tourism industry. I think you had a presentation, recently whereas between february and july alone we saw what a 24. Drop. In, employment, for these folks. Uh, talk about that kind of permanent damage are you worried about that i mean i know we're talking about you know things possibly coming back, post uh vaccine, but, what's it look like in the short term the near term, uh in these these tough industries right now. There will be some you know attractions, hotels, that figured out how to do things, that they. Uh prior, they've had two people do now have one or management is involved. The other portion of that is that if you think about hotels, um, daily. Room service now in regards to cleaning your room, it's just not taking place like it was and people don't want, uh particularly during this time don't want you in the room i think that's a littering effect, there won't be daily, daily housekeeping, requests in a hotel won't be requested, instead of expected, as we go forward. Which will in turn impact employment. Yeah because there's such a trickle-down, effect you talk about that trickle-down, effect when we talk about maybe losing one hospitality, job or one hotel i mean just how these things could just, you know snowball, and how they probably already have. Yeah they have i mean we you know we've lost. We lost a lot of things that we had, you know that we had going into this in regards to hotels. The one sector that has done well during this time is short-term, rentals, people are looking for more square footage they're looking for a kitchen the ability to stay there if they want when they travel somewhere. Um and just more space in general, not hotel lobbies and crowds of people not hotel bars. Or restaurants. Not passing people in the hall. All of those things bode well for short-term, rentals and they fared well during this and, they will fail well as as post pandemic, as well.
So How long do you think it would take maybe for. Uh for the employment, to kind of come back to where it was before any idea. Um, assuming there's a vaccine, at the end of this year or early, 2021. I think by the summer of next year. Of 2021. We should be close to, normal levels but not quite, back where we were, um prior to this. So we've still had travel duane you know we still you said you had some decent, somewhat i mean obviously very low occupancy, in the hotels, but uh you were talking about short-term, rentals airbnbs, and such, uh can you kind of maybe gonna, give us an idea about what the the typical, traveler, looks like right now where they're coming from where they're going where they're staying, what are you guys to do so far looking at trends and data. Sure yeah the typical traveler, is younger now, um. People who are older or maybe susceptible, or in a high risk category, for the virus typically aren't traveling so therefore. By default the traveler is younger today, and people are taking shorter trips, both in duration. And in distance, um, people, are not flying, uh. Dramatically. Airlines were down 95. At one time they're still down around 60. So people are driving to destinations, so it's shorter trips and then familiarity. Do they they've been there before are they comfortable going there, um that's the biggest trends we see in that and our marketing reflects, that we're marketing in the 350, mile radius. Around columbia, to attract people to south carolina. That are kind of within that six to seven hour drive time frame. And what are some of the bright spots we're seeing i mean i know i've been talking a lot about the negatives we've been seeing, but what do you guys is there anything you can point to uh when we're looking at successes, so far in tourism. Um there is you know the two big ones i mentioned short-term, rentals the other is golf, golf was up 15. In june 14. In july. I expect that to continue, through the rest of the summer and fall. Golf offers outdoor activity. The ability to distance, uh, i mean the ability to be, uh, outside. I think, that bodes well for golf and it is it has done well local play, and while the visitor play is not as high as because there just aren't as many visitors. Local play has made up for a lot of that and so i think golf you know. Was a little bit of a lagging.
Um. Indicator. You know through our recent, uh, seven year run of record numbers. It has done well during this time and that's primarily, i think because the outdoor component. But short-term rentals in golf are two bright spots in the industry they've done well, yeah i can definitely second to your opinion on that golf situation, i've been golfing a lot more this year too and i think i heard you recently talk about uh, state parks are just doing. Tremendous, amounts of work right now too i mean what's that like and, i guess that goes along with what we're talking about outdoor, activities. Sure. Yeah state park same thing we've had record summer for camping and cabin rental, um we've had some parks that literally double the amount of camping and cabin rental throughout. Even some lesser-known, state parks but, state parks actually reopened, may 1st we had a record may. Um and then june followed that with another record month and so as did july, and so state parks have just. You know. Rv sales are up 20, nationally that's reflected, i think people want to be outside, outdoors. Control their space, if you will, and i think camping, and cabins offer that ability to do that, cabins are a little bit like a short-term rental in some respects, and so. You know i expect state parks to continue that throughout the fall and even into the spring next year. Kind of a silver lining there people kind of rediscovering, what's already in their own backyard. Uh but dwayne. We have a few minutes left i want to ask you about what we what you're expecting what you're hearing from state lawmakers, as we go into that two-week session next week. We're gonna see some budget movements here, uh since we've been on a continuing resolution. Uh what are you asking for what are you hearing what do you need for the for the state parks and recreation, tourism, you know obviously trying to keep that industry. Vibrant, even as we hope to emerge from it next year. No. Sure nothing will bring down the unemployment, number faster than getting heads in beds as i mentioned earlier, as hotels, go so ago everything else around the leisure and hospitality. Sector. So i've asked them for additional marketing, funds. Um or statewide, as well as our five largest destinations, which are myrtle beach charleston, hilton head columbia and greenville. So that's how we generate. More business to get hit see heads in the beds get more people employed. And the way we do that as i mentioned earlier the percentage of people i believe through the fall. That are willing to travel. Is going to increase. But it's also our i for our obligation. To try to get more than our fair share, and to be blunt we want to get more visitors and more than our fair share of north carolina georgia tennessee, florida et cetera, we want to try to do that and that's how we do that through marketing and advertising. And, you know we we had great inspirational, stuff early on, and now we have a call to action it's when you're ready, we're ready and that's our tagline. To try to get people back, as people feel. More comfortable and safe about traveling, we want to let them know, we're open and ready for business and that's what. I've told the legislature. And asked them to provide some of that money. Um. I think it's a time we can get we can bring unemployment, down faster in our industry, therefore statewide. Um. More so doing more so getting heads in beds more so than anything else. Yeah i know you mentioned the top five markets and, we also want to make sure that i'm guessing that the smaller markets too you know your camdens, your your spartanburgs, your florence's, are also still getting attention is that something that you guys are focused on as well.
Yeah Maybe even more so um we have an undisrupt, we call undiscovered, south drawing which are some of those locations, and they're very attractive, right now, i mean there is a there's a need to be away from crowds in some respects, and so smaller destinations, are very attractive, at this time. And duane with less than a minute left what do you what are your thoughts kind of just give us like an overview about you know maybe so your concerns, right now what could affect things going forward and and what are your thoughts on, uh, looking out in the next six twelve months. You know i think, going, the near term is you know national politics, or play obviously, uh in regard, to, virus. The vaccine. Quarantines. Those kinds of things all of which affect travel. Uncertainty, about the economy. So national implications, play a big part in our industry, whether people feel safe whether they feel comfortable, whether they think they'll have the, money to travel. The good news is the economy, or, in and of itself while not in a great position. Family stop money will still travel it's still an integral part of the trip, i mean no integral part of mental health if you will, taking a trip somewhere it just may be shorter, in duration, and not as long as before. And so. You know we're trying to catch all that as we can go but. It you know it's just it's. It's a strange time it's like trying to fly the plane and build it at the same time is what it feels like. Like no other time. Definitely, definitely well said there, that's dwayne parrish he's the director of state parks, recreation, and tourism, duane thanks for joining us. Thank you gavin appreciate it, now we take a current look at the stock market and how you should be investing. With financial advisor elise bidwell, elise welcome back. Thank you so much for having me gavin. Well so at least the last time we spoke was april and that was just right after march which is when everything just kind of went off the rails in the stock market we've been seeing some strong recovery. Going on right now just want to get your thoughts about, how things are looking right now and, and what's it like out there in the market. Yes gavin i think i i looked at when i was on the program last it was april 10th. Boy things are very different now, i think, it's important for us to look at where we were, to really understand, where we are now, so going back to april 10th. We were we were going into shutting the economy or just shut the economy, down, it was one of the strongest, economies, we had had on record with unemployment. At a 50-year, low at three and a half percent. And the market went from an all-time, high in february. Within 23, days was down 20 percent. Which is the fastest, bear market on record. And bottomed, on march, the 23rd. So, this the mid part of the year have been a very. Different story. We see the s p 500, index, up. Almost at six almost 60 percent to a new high on september, 2nd, and then the nasdaq, all those technology. Stocks. Are up about 75. So, year to date, and here's a year-to-date. Update which is a little bit different, than what we saw in the first half or the second half. The dow jones industrial, average is slightly, negative. The s p 500, index is up about four or five percent, depending, on the day that you look at it over the past week, the nasdaq, is up over 20, percent.
Again, Pointing to what we're doing differently, now, which is using technology. More than we ever have, so we'll see where we go, uh by the end of the year we're certainly seeing some volatility, right now especially in technology, stocks. And that's providing some opportunity, for investors, too, yeah i mean they've definitely been roaring i mean especially when we look at apple, and, tesla i mean we saw apple, do their stock split too so a lot of people got to get back in on that i'm sure, i know a few people that did um so what's the best way for people to capitalize, on this um you know what, people maybe people are in their 401ks. Still. Should they be should they be juggling what they have in their portfolio. Uh what about folks who maybe um you know want to invest on their own, haven't gotten the market at all what's your advice for people right now of all investor. Classes. So it always. Depends, on their tolerance, for market volatility. And, what the time horizon, is for that money that they're investing. So a shorter time horizon. There's probably, not much opportunity, right now, a low risk tolerance and a shorter time horizon you're looking at cds, that were paying. Three two and three percent, last year and they're paying point two to point three percent now so there's not a ton of opportunity, without, looking at some of the pockets. In the market where there is opportunity. And i always say it's good to know what your asset allocation, or your mix of investments, should be whether it's within your 401k. Or outside of a 401k, in a brokerage account, or in a roth ira. Before, the opportunity, arrives, and so last week, we were certainly looking at specifically. Some technology, stocks that were trading. Lower than they should have been, in that dip that we saw last week and we'll see what happens today it looks like futures are down so we may have another opportunity, today. So do you think um. Talk about diversification. Really quickly we're talking about technology, stocks it seems like a hot, hot thing to be in but. Do you think people maybe focus just too much on one stock and need to realize that they need to diversify. And make sure that they're not just you know getting this downturn, this little dip right now we're looking at places like apple and tesla stocks like those, absolutely. We have some portfolios. In our with my clients, that are out of whack right now not just because, they had really great growth in stocks. Which we've been rebalancing, towards some fixed income, defensive, investments, over the last couple of months, but because they've seen fantastic. Growth in companies, like google, google. Apple. Facebook. Amazon. So when we look at these companies, the top five companies, of the of the s p 500, index so that's the. S p 500 index is 500, companies, across. Um the country large cap companies. The top five companies. Which are facebook, apple, amazon. Google. And i'm missing one it'll probably come to me in a minute, those top five companies, are, 24. Of the market capitalization. Of the s p 500, index. They were 18. The top five or 18, prior to covet, and so there's definitely, some frothy, parts in the market. And and we, recommend, not having any more than five percent. Of your net worth in any one company and you know we have clients that have more than that and we're looking for opportunities, to trim. Those gains off, mm-hmm. I think um we talk about those fang stocks i think i just looked up at netflix maybe what we were missing right there with other technology, stocks. Was and i don't know microsoft, actually okay, it's microsoft, now that, that that replaced netflix. So there are still plenty of opportunities, out there i mean i'm, thinking about, stocks like boeing we're talking about some big blue chip stocks out there that have really had a hard, hard go of it you know when we look at boeing for example we're talking about not only the 737. Max problems but we're talking about, you know worldwide, demand for air travel, just being decimated. Which has had ripple effects for their, you know their workforce, and for their outlook so. Is it a valuable, time to maybe look at stocks like those who maybe have, still some strong fundamentals, but have a lot of outward, you know pressures, facing them for people to jump in on them or what are your what's your advice for some of these value investors, out there right now.
Absolutely. Growth has outperformed, value for a long time now. And so there are good, value, stocks, right now. That we need to be looking at, uh and i can't name specific, stocks, without talking to someone individually. But i think that looking at what the opinions, are i know the edward jones opinion is public i look at, what the uh mike what the morningstar, opinion is on individual, stocks, looking at what those analysts opinions, on on those stocks, and buying them where there's a good dividend. The best time to buy a stock is low, and sell high, and frequently, for these, value stocks these large cap value stocks they're paying a pretty good dividend and it's even better, when you buy those shares. At a lower cost per share, so there are definitely, opportunities. There are values. Still in the stock market. And, at least you know we kind of talked about this a little while ago, uh but how are you advising clients right now when we look at you know we have the election looming. In november, we have you know political uncertainty, that comes with that we already have uncertainty, in a lot of aspects. Uh you know with, with covet 19, and the spending that the government's been doing obviously we have a lot of debt right now. That means there could be you know future tax increases, depending on how things go politically. How are you advising, people to, to hedge for the future. Uh, looking forward down the road, should should taxes, start to increase to kind of pay back some of this debt we're incurring. That's a great question, there's a lot to break down there, the the debt, will cover that first specifically, with the debt, you know i hear people talk frequently, about. Diversification. Of their portfolio, among stocks, and, among asset classes, bonds, etc. But i don't frequently hear people talk about tax diversification. And that's something that we have been talking about with our clients. Uh increasingly. Over the past couple of years because we do believe, that, tax rates are going to go up, they're not going to stay. Low where they they're, they're historically, they're pretty low right now so we know with all this debt tax rates are going to go up a roth ira, a roth 401k.
Are Super important for people to be thinking about right now, if they're not making contributions. To, a roth 401k, or roth ira i'd recommend that they get with a financial advisor make sure they're within the income limits for the ira. And make those contributions, because that money will come out tax-free, in retirement. And gavin do i have time to speak to the political, environmental, level, sure. So i think it's interesting, i i, edward jones has a strategy, report out that i'd be happy to get to any of your viewers, they can just email me at elise.bidwell. Edwardjones.com. Happy to get that out but that strategy, report. Has to do with. What. Different, scenarios. Of a president, being a republican, or a democrat, in congress, being republican, or democrat, going back to 1900. Looking at all of those different scenarios, cumulatively. Cumulatively. There's never been a scenario, that wasn't positive, on the dow, and the dow has averaged eight percent since then. And in fact going back to more recent elections. President, obama. In 2008. The market was down about five percent, but then ended up being up for the four years that he was president the first term second term. Down initially, after the election. Up. Substantially. In four years and the same happened with president trump. So i and i encourage, people to make sure their asset allocation, is right. Going into the election. And to hold on, just like we did back in march and look for pockets of opportunities, where there are opportunities. If we do see volatility. Yeah that's exactly right remember we talked about that you know when we were talking about march when it was just a roller coaster and advising people to hold on there too so again, you definitely hold your stocks don't, make any wild jumps there just because of market volatility. About two minutes left elise i want to talk about uh retirees, obviously south carolina is home to a lot of retirees, my parents included. What are you advising, them right now or maybe potential, retirees, i should say as well, uh when they're looking at the markets when they're thinking about retirement, or while they're, uh you know. Just looking at their portfolio, right now as they are retired, any advice you have for them. Absolutely, again we get back to their tolerance for market volatility. And looking at, their gold and their time horizon. Which for many retirees. Is 30 years in retirement. But in addition to that we want to make sure that we have some good dividend-paying. Stock or stock mutual, investments. As a part of the portfolio. Because. Like i said earlier, cd rates. Are 0.3 to 0.4, percent. Uh bond rates i mean i'm lucky to get a bond paying two percent right now and those are all beautiful, things to have a part of the portfolio, for defensive, reasons, and for steady dependable, income. But we've got to look at inflation. We've got to look at, um. Uh dividend, interest. Coming off of those stocks, and then in some cases, you can get a five or six percent. Dividend rate right now on a good stock. So, very uh very encouraging news there too i'm guessing, bullish, overall for the year as well right. Thinking overall, let's see and i said it i'm always cautious but i'm hearing most analysts think we're going to see some volatility. We could see. I'm hearing down 10 to 15. That's not from i will say that's not from edward jones that's just listening to other economists, so i think we're going to see some volatility, gotcha so keep an eye on your portfolios, out there, well very good elise thank you very much that's elise bidwell, financial advisor with edward jones. Thanks gavin. To keep you updated throughout the week check out the south carolina, lead, it's a podcast, i host twice a week, you can find it wherever you find podcasts. In. Southcarolinapublicradio.org. For south carolina etv i'm gavin jackson, bewall south. Carolina. You.