Value In the Challenged Travel and Leisure Sector

To the Editor:
I prefer growth investments in the tech and healthcare sectors over catching a falling knife in the leisure and travel sector (“The New Outlook for Travel,” Cover Story, July 23). In June, we were celebrating the end of Covid-19; in July, the Delta variant is exploding. I am concerned about the late fall and the Lambda variant.

To the Editor:
Nice roundup, but you missed some winners here. Spirit Airlines, Ryanair, JetBlue Airways, Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Expedia Group, Park Hotels & Resorts, and Norwegian Cruise Line are all still good values.

Dave Seminara, On

To the Editor:
I have had occasion to stay at a few Wyndham Hotel & Resorts properties recently, and they have been a pleasant surprise each time. That brand was improving before Covid-19. Hopefully, it can find that momentum again.

John McDonald, On

Cash Bonus Kudos

To the Editor:
Constellation Software’s compensation structure, as outlined in “This Fund Delivers Big Gains Without Big Tech” (Interview, July 22), instead of granting stock options, provides employees with a cash bonus to buy shares, thus saving stock dilution. Additionally, this compensation structure reinforces the psychological commitment the employees have to the company, annually. Bravo! Why have we not heard of this before?

Robert J. McDowell, Incline Village, Nev.

A Decent Return

To the Editor:

Thank you for “The 100 Best Annuities for Today’s Market” (July 23). Right now, I can’t get a decent return on bonds or certificates of deposit, and the stock market is scary. Reading this informative article about annuities gives me another approach to invest that seems safe and, at the same time, can deliver a much greater return.

Martin Blumberg, Melville, N.Y.

To the Editor:
Your article on annuities correctly noted that, except for two crucial differences, variable annuities function much like nondeductible individual retirement accounts, i.e., retirement investment vehicles that produce no tax deduction for contributions but allow profits to build up over decades on a tax-deferred basis. The first difference is that, while there are severe limits on the amounts that can be contributed to nondeductible IRAs, there are no limits on the amounts that can be contributed to variable annuities.

The second difference is that IRA accounts usually have no or very low fees, while variable annuities charge an account fee, which in many cases is very high.

The tax-policy implications of this are obvious but rarely articulated. If it is a good idea to allow unlimited amounts to be contributed to tax-deferred retirement vehicles, the contribution limits on nondeductible IRAs should be removed.

Conversely, if it is a good idea to limit the amount that can be contributed to tax-deferred retirement vehicles, the limits that apply to nondeductible IRAs should be made applicable to variable annuities. It makes no sense whatsoever for the government to grant to insurance companies a free and monopolistic license to sell tax deferral to people who are willing to pay fees—potentially very high fees.

Jeffery L. Yablon, Washington, D.C.

To the Editor:
The largest risk attached to annuities is inflation. Someone needs to offer something akin to a variable annuity denominated in gold. Returns would be less than impressive if normal conditions continue but would offer protection from financial Armageddon.

Douglas Wood, Naperville, Ill.

Robinhood’s Prospects

To the Editor:
Regarding “The Robinhood IPO Is Coming Soon. Steer Clear” (Follow-Up, July 23), the stock might be a mini-meme success for a few months, followed by a slow, inexorable decline when meme interest shifts to the next object of attraction and the stock price becomes more aligned with the company’s fundamentally weak business model.

R. Gordon, On

Drink Up Evoqua

To the Editor:
Recently, I’ve been focusing on exchange-traded funds that will be affected by climate change, including water (“Buy This Stock. It’s a Bet on Clean Water,” July 23).

So, this article on Evoqua Water Technologies is right on target, to my way of thinking. Climate change is here. And that includes water. Drink up while prices are still reasonable.

Anthony Botone, On

Visible Inflation

To the Editor:
Remember the Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey, where he starred as Elwood P. Dowd? (“Rent Prices Are About to Run Up, and Inflation Is About to Get Stickier,” The Economy, July 23). The only one able to see the invisible rabbit Harvey was Stewart’s character.

When it comes to growing inflation, President Joe Biden can’t seem to see the rabbit. The rest of us can.

Larry Penner, Great Neck, N.Y.

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