Quick COVID-19 Update
The stock market over the past month can only be categorized as a crash. Pandemic is a crisis that almost no one has any experience. The data has spoken volumes already: compounding victim count, canceled travel and sports, mandatory closings of schools and restaurants, the hoarding of goods and withdrawals at banks, and on and on. (Many websites have been tracking the Covid-19 spread. Here’s one of my favorites, done by a teenager from Mercer Island, Washington: https://ncov2019.live/data)
We’ll have more to say about our views on the market and economy in the weeks ahead. Suffice it to say, we think the risk/reward of taking this seriously outweighs taking a sanguine view, both for investments and health. At our offices, we are open and operating but have taken measures to work remotely if required.
Investment wise, it’s hard to describe the speed and ferocity of market declines since the all-time highs of mid-February. We have taken overall equity exposure down where appropriate—a process that began in late January for most clients. The economic fallout is just beginning, as is the response from government, which we think ultimately could be historic in size and scope. Defense will be our priority; however, we realize the crisis is not permanent, and opportunities could be plenty for the long-term investor. We all speak of past crises in terms of the opportunities they presented but speak of present and future crises only in terms of the risks. There will be opportunities!
But that’s investments; health and safety come first. The most important thing we can all do is heed the warnings of doctors and experts in staying healthy and limiting the spread of COVID-19. The best advice is simple. Frequent handwashing and social distancing are probably the best thing we can do for ourselves and others. If you need some motivation, see this: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/
Give us a call if you need anything.