A Message About the COVID-19 Crisis and Your Investments
There really aren’t any words to accurately describe the last few weeks we’ve all experienced. Information about COVID-19 is in the news cycle 24/7. COVID-19 is affecting our local schools, our hometowns, and, of course, the financial markets. It has been unprecedented and challenging in every way. However, I write this letter to reiterate what I have said to you all along.
I am here for you.
There are a lot of opinions floating around out there about what is happening- why the stock market seems to be falling apart; how serious Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is; how long we’ll be quarantined; how much of this damage could be offset by Government stimulus. The list goes on and on.
Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak our nation’s unemployment rate was at a 50 year low with the economy humming along at about a 2% annual GDP growth rate, down from 2.2% in 2019. The stock market was up over 25% last year.
This month is currently on pace to be the single worst month since October of 2008, during the depths of the global financial crisis. This has been the fastest drop from an all-time high into a bear market (more than 20%) on record. It’s been both breathtaking and heartbreaking.
What makes this so tough are all the unknowns. Nobody can tell us with any degree of confidence how long this will last or the extent of the economic damage when this crisis ends.
“Most of us will not be seriously infected by the Coronavirus, but we will all be affected by it.”
We have seen the stock market do this before. It doesn’t make it any easier, but we have seen it before. For many of you this is not your first nor will it be your last market correction.
The one thing everyone seems to be able to agree on is that things are extremely tough right now. I am urging everyone to remain calm. I know that is easier said than done. This storm will pass, and normalcy will eventually return. I can’t tell you when, but I can promise that you will be rewarded for not overreacting to the fear that is so prevalent right now.
I urge everyone to take the necessary health precautions to avoid contracting the Coronavirus. Without our health nothing else matters. Please practice safe social distancing and maintain quarantine until we are told things are better. I know this is inconvenient, but it’s in everyone’s best interest.
Oftentimes, when I speak with you on the phone, I try to remind everyone of the two things we are ultimately in control of. The first is our EXPENSES, the second is our EMOTIONS.
While things are challenging and the stock market works to recover from the most recent selloff, I advise everyone to be mindful of their expenses. You are in direct control of these expenses, and during times of economic slowdown it’s best to err on the side of caution. We do not know how long this will last. I want to ensure that everyone has the best chance of coming out of this financial crisis/medical pandemic in the best shape financially possible.
Emotions are a lot harder to quantify in dollars and cents. Emotions run rampant when markets are volatile and the economy slows down. I know this because I also feel the effects of the slowdown both personally and professionally. We must not allow negative news to control how we feel each and every day. We can choose to be in control of our emotions.
I want to encourage everyone to stay positive. We will get through this downturn together. I understand this is not easy to do when we see the wealth we have worked hard to build up over a lifetime being reduced rapidly by circumstances out of our control. We will recover from this. It’s not a matter of if, only when.
I want to end this letter by restating something that matters very deeply to me. I need you know that I am here for you. I want to be a beacon of hope in this dark time. It has always been my goal and desire to provide the highest quality financial planning and asset management available to you, my valued clients & friends.
I have recently spent numerous hours on the phone communicating with you and hearing your fears and concerns, even receiving words of encouragement during this tough time. This will not change. I will continue to lead this firm into the future, through these difficult times, with you always at the heart of what we do. This is my promise to you.
In the event you have any additional concerns I ask that you reach out to me directly via telephone at 630.214.1149 or send me an email at Tony@wiselyadvised.com. If you have family and friends who need to hear these words of encouragement I ask that you share this letter with them.
In the coming days I will provide additional resources and informational pieces to help you navigate this current financial crisis.
Together we will all get through this.
Wisely Advised, LLC