If you are like us, you are probably having trouble processing all the massive changes that are rapidly occurring as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It is no doubt shocking to see grocery store shelves empty, restaurants closed, and meetings canceled.
The Coronavirus outbreak and your investment portfolio
We are encouraged by your reactions (or lack of reaction) to the stock market gyrations. Although you have expressed natural concerns about the future, you seem to appreciate that together, we have been preparing for a market downturn for several years now, and you are focused on staying the course and continuing the investment strategies put into place. While we will review your portfolios for any opportunities to rebalance or implement tax-loss harvesting tactics in the next few weeks, this is not the time for big changes.
While we consider this Coronavirus pandemic to fit into the general category of crises (along with the October 1987 stock market crash, 911 terrorist attack, Lehmen Brothers bankruptcy, etc.), this feels different because of the required isolation due to social distancing. Normally, in a crisis people draw closer together to support each other, which makes the difficulties more bearable. Fortunately, we have the Internet available to allow some virtual contact without the danger of contamination.
Our plan is to communicate at least weekly as this situation unfolds. While it’s unlikely that we will be able to offer quick short-term solutions and answers, we can at least share answers to some of the questions we receive, our daily experiences, as well as those of our clients as we meet and talk with them in the next few weeks. So please feel free to share!
What clients are saying about the Coronavirus crisis
During our regular client meetings last week, we generally heard concern and some bewilderment, but no panic.
- While usual protocol is that everyone refrains from checking phones during meetings, at a client meeting last Monday we all found ourselves agreeing to pause and check in to see what the stock market had done during the past 30 minutes before diving into our next topic.
- A client commented that last fall they became empty nesters, were rather enjoying their new status, only to find it cut short as children were sent home from their expensive colleges and universities to learn online at home.
- A client askedwasn’t the time to invest in companies producing toilet paper!