Trying to stay fit might be hazardous to one’s health! In late March, trying to perform exercises directed by my trainer, I suffered a complete thickness tear of my left supraspinatus tendon. That is the shoulder muscle that allows us to raise our arms out to the side. The experts don’t like my terminology, but in short, that muscle/tendon combination broke in two. (By the way, it was not my beloved trainer’s fault.)
But not wanting to burden the rest of you Medicare taxpayers unnecessarily, I delayed having an MRI, waiting three months to see if it would heal on its own. It could not and did not. Therefore, three weeks ago I joined the ranks of those with tiny anchors holding shoulder tendons in place long enough for healing to occur. At least, that’s the story, and I have a long way to go until I am almost as good as I could have been.
My blessed health history was re-emphasized to me as I completed numerous forms noting that my one hospital stay was in about 1957 at age 4 or 5 for the then obligatory tonsillectomy.
I did wear a cast at about 13 for cracked wrist/arm bones from a softball injury. I remember fondly swimming in the muddy little creek in Blalock Hollow at H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation (otherwise known as Osceola Scout Camp). Other than wisdom teeth and one other extraction, I have been healthier than one has a right to be!
In spite of that fact, as a whole, our boomer generation is now in the process of falling apart, facing the inevitable physical deterioration known to every person since Adam’s fall. Good news, right? I am sure you have heard the admonition that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The rest of this essay concerns this prospect.
Although shoulder surgeries are exploding in number, they are clearly still not as popular as new knees and hips. This is probably due to most normal people not even thinking in their wildest imaginings about staying in good physical condition or trying to be a volunteer junior landscaper/forester/you-name-it after age 65. But few have ever accused me of being normal, and I wouldn’t own up to it either.
Since there are more Boomers still alive than any prior generation before the Millennials, and due to that ugly truth two paragraphs above, health care is now and probably will continue to be a fantastic growth area for investing. In the past, companies in this sector have been considered to be defensive in nature.
That means that when the economy enters recession and people cut their spending on second homes, cars, and other discretionary items, the great masses of folks will continue to take medicines for headaches and arthritis pain and will finally schedule their replacement-part surgeries. This holds true especially for the insureds under age 65 and those like your humble writer who have the “guvamint” through Medicare to help pay thousands to feel better and live longer.
I quickly got off of my narcotic pain medicine after surgery, but I am going to blame those pills and the lingering effects of anesthesia on my writing style today. It is far more wandering than usual, but then, I also have been reading James Fenimore Cooper’s novel “The Prairies” while I recover. How in the world did we ever get through the thickets of 19th century communications in school?
At any rate, next week I plan to continue in a vein more likely to help you make money with your investments. Or perhaps to provide some entertainment to those like me, dull enough to be interested in finance and business.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advice is intended to be general in nature.
Ron Finke is president of Stewardship Capital in Independence. He is a registered investment adviser. Reach him at email@example.com.