The world changed when it shut down in March 2020.
We might never go back to the pre-Covid world that we enjoyed.
As investors, we need to understand how the new normal will look.
The New Normal
For many people, illness risk is subjective.
That might sound cynical.
But the data shows many people are willing to accept risks while fighting hard to avoid other situations.
The chart below shows data from Kastle Systems.
The company makes systems to restrict access to office buildings and other facilities.
You might have used their products if you swiped a card to access your office.
Kastle has access to real-time data from 41,000 businesses nationwide.
It knows who is back in the office and who continues to work from home.
The latest numbers show attendance at offices remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
But major recreation data, such as TSA travel volume, dining reservations and attendance at major sporting events, is almost back to normal.
This chart confirms what we’ve all suspected.
People don’t want to go back to the office.
Yet they do want to go other places.
The new normal has important investment implications.
Why Investors Should Avoid Office REITS
Investors should avoid office real estate investment trusts (REITs).
They may look cheap, but their business prospects are declining.
Companies will scale back on office space because they don’t need as much.
This should lead to increased demand for the best office space.
Companies will need less space so they can upgrade the facilities they rent.
Entertainment is back on track.
So is travel.
Almost all of life has returned to normal except for work.
Pandemic trades like Peloton Interactive Inc. (Nasdaq: PTON) and Zoom Video Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ZM) aren’t coming back anytime soon.
Bottom line: New trends will emerge, and that’s what we need to focus on.