Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace column.


If you look around, it’s difficult to see a recession on the ocean’s horizon. The disruption in the economy several months ago turned out to be a few storm clouds.

But you cannot turn on the television or surf online without insinuations of a slowing U.S. economy, with whispers of the “R” word. From everyone from commentators to politicians to Wall Street strategists.

Crowds Downtown Viewing Amelia Concours d'Elegance Cars Fernandina Beach Florida
Crowds Downtown Viewing Amelia Concours d’Elegance Cars (March 8, 2019)

Judging from this past weekend on Amelia Island, we have few worries. Nothing about the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance car show is inexpensive. Not the tickets, not the luxurious jet planes parked here, not the spiffy antique cars. As the name implies, it is elegant.

There were lines of visitors on local roadways and at restaurants and at stores. Lines of people waiting to deposit their money into our local economy. Prosperity is a beautiful thing.

Five new hotels are being built or are built on Amelia Island. New restaurants are still opening, and neighborhoods are springing up like purple and pink azaleas. Amelia Island is now a premier destination. Once low-key, Yulee offers mainstream shopping and is home to one of the largest mixed-use developments in the Southeastern U.S., owned by Rayonier.

We are not alone with this type of activity. Yet, as a country, we almost talked ourselves into a recession in the fourth quarter of 2018, incited by a drumbeat of negative headlines from a national media on a warpath. A 20-percent drop in the U.S. stock market was cast as a precursor to that “R” word, recession.

An economic expansion in its 10th year is seen by some as being tired. But this is hardly the case, if you look at the employment numbers, the consumer and business confidence figures, the solid earnings of American companies. Things are good (with some headwinds).

The CEO of a major railroad was reported in Barron’s magazine as saying: “We need the China trade deal to occur and be productive. We need ratification of the Nafta 2.0. We need the consumers not to be talked into a recession by all of the negativity that we see reported daily.”

“The U.S. industrial economy still feels like it’s chugging along.”


Steve Nicklas Financial Advisor
Steve Nicklas, Financial Advisor

Steve Nicklas, CRPC®, is a financial advisor with a U.S. brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns regularly appear in weekly newspapers in North Florida and in South Georgia, and on his website at SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has published a book, “All About Money,” of his favorite columns from the past 20 years. The book is available at local stores and on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected].

April 2019 Investment Class

The long-running “Investing in Today’s Financial Markets” class will be offered in April at the Nassau County Council on Aging in Fernandina Beach.

The adult-education class has been offered at Florida State College in Yulee since 2001. Local financial advisor Steve Nicklas teaches the class, and has also served as an adjunct instructor at the University of North Florida.

The four-week class covers all aspects of the financial markets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, annuities, insurance, etc., along with financial/retirement planning. The class schedule will be: April 2, 9, 16 and 30, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day (lunch will be served).

For additional information or to register for the class, visit the Council on Aging website at nassaucountycouncilonaging.org or call 904-261-0701.