Jeff Johnson is a very interesting optometrist. He doesn't see patients. He doesn't teach optometry. He's not even in the profession. No, for the past six years this very bright man has been a Senior Research Analyst for Robert W. Baird and Company, a leading wealth management and private equity firm with client assets of more than $66 billion. Dr. Johnson follows the ophthalmic industry, among other health categories, writing about eye care stocks and the industry's performance from an investment perspective.
During his talk, he shared an interesting assessment. According to Dr. Johnson, the dental industry..and by extension the ophthalmic industry…appears to trough six months following the low-point in unemployment.
So, based on his assessment, with unemployment still climbing and likely not to peak until later this year, it's reasonable to plan that the current growth that most of our clients are experiencing will deteriorate in early 2010. What Dr. Johnson is saying is that the impact of this recession is delayed for most of our industry.
I'm not sharing this to be a gloom and doomer. No, for me, this spells opportunity. What are you doing to be prepared? Many of our clients have maintained an assertive and diligent practice-building stance for the past year as we've entered the downturn. And many are seeing growth way in excess of 10%. This growth appears largely fueled by managed care, as employees at risk of losing their jobs use up their benefits. This phenomena may lull you into a false sense of security.
What you can't do is let up as the economy improves…because, according to Dr. Johnson, the impact of the recession will be delayed. That's the bad news. He also stated that health care is usually the last to be impacted in a recession and the first to recover. That's good news!
What are you doing to take advantage of the opportunities?