In February, 2020, the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirted with investors by nearly breaking into an all time historic high of 30,000 points. A lot has changed with the impact of Covid-19. In just one month we have experience an overall market decline of nearly 30%. Yesterday, March 24, as lawmakers began to show signs of nearing a deal regarding a stimulus package intended to bolster the economy strained by coronavirus, the Dow made its biggest one day leap upward since 1933 (Ostroff & Chiu 2020). These are indicators we are being impacted by uncertainty on many levels. Read on for tips about combating the Covid-19 impact.
Covid-19 Impact On The Financial Market And Your Portfolio
The unknown can breed fear. As a financial advisor, I believe I am uniquely positioned to be of help. I remind clients this is a time to re-address financial plans and decide if the current bear market has an impact on short-term and long-term goals. Maybe this is an opportune time to implement some savvy tax strategizing like making a Roth IRA conversion. When clients are faced with big life changes (and this has certainly been a doozie) it’s important to establish if your portfolio is in line with your risk tolerance and time horizon. Additionally, I want to share some straightforward statistics provided by Jerry Mee of The Boston Institute of Finance:
- The market declines 36% during an average bear market.
The market increases 112% during an average bull market.
- The average length of a bear market is 299 days (10 months).
The average length of a bull market is 1,003 days (2 years and 9 months).
- If you assume a 50-year investment timeline you should expect to experience 14 bear markets. Bear markets are normal. They exist in the cycle of a healthy market (Mee 2020).
What Can Be Done To Reduce Fears
Behavioral Finance Advisor® Donna Krohn, says “we are all in an excited state” and fear leads to “panicked and angered reactions” which is “far from the ideal state of mind to making decisions” (Krohn, 2020). Krohn urges we embrace the following,
- Reframing the situation – Change from the mindset of “what I am going to do?” to “how can I adapt?”. Think business – when businesses are adaptable, they tend to survive.
- Not every decision needs to be made in this moment. It’s okay to wait on some things.
- This is a great time to reset – think about what it is that is really important to you and what you value. Being clear on this will help not just now, but in the weeks, months, and years to come. This is actually a very constructive use of our time and energy.
- Notice what you have control over and what you don’t. If your attention is on what you do have control over then we feel more purposeful (Krohn, 2020).
A Message From Fallbrook Chamber Of Commerce CEO
Lila MacDonald, CEO of the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, addresses head on the challenges our small town faces. Lila states, “Although we had to cancel the Avocado Festival, which is a big event here in Fallbrook, it has given us a chance to look at new ways to support and market local businesses. We created a virtual Avocado Festival shopping pageto highlight local businesses where our community and others can buy straight from the source. Local community support is the wave of the future” (MacDonald, 2020).
Now is the time to reach out to your community professionals; such as, your mortgage lender, estate attorney, insurance agent or tax professional. It is important to know if you are on track with your current course of action or if modification should be made. Estate Attorney Mike Perdue says it is important that clients retain their original estate documents, not copies. Know where they are located for quick access in case of an emergency. Life changes and Perdue urges clients to periodically have these important estate documents reviewed to be sure they reflect current wishes (Perdue, 2020).
Local Pulse Conclusion
Reach out to your community and the professionals who keep your network and financial life on track. Readdress your financial plan to decide how the current bear market may have impacted your short-term and long-term goals. Don’t panic and act out of emotion. Support your local community. Seek the services of professionals who can serve you in recognizing opportunities for improvement with a mortgage refinance, updates to estate documents, tax strategies, and insurance needs. These strategies will help prepare you to make well informed decisions.
“Behavioral Finance.” Behavioral Finance, 25 Mar. 2020.
MacDonald, 25 Mar. 2020.
Mee, Jerry. “March 2020: Bear Markets of the Past Century.” March 2020: Bear Markets of the Past Century, www.bostonifi.com/bif-bites/podcast-march-2020?utm_campaign=Program Benefits&utm_medium=email&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_1vychFOjL8dNxCozP4_MJQZfbyb6r70U4CrRUGCV9gjCbwxQz00EkxucA_GEYuVIdUEUp9BafJW5u9MuNIvpwej6TnYL8a4eCJEEt6lXtOj9uGQQ&_hsmi=84943213&utm_source=hs_email&utm_content=84943213&hsCtaTracking=67f263c5-0ca9-42ae-85e1-7a7351caccaf|12611570-92c2-45a8-8b18-93a3f0b92d4a.
Ostroff, Caitlin, and Joanne Chiu. “Dow, S&P 500 Rise More Than 5% As Volatility in Stocks Continues.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 24 Mar. 2020, www.wsj.com/articles/global-stock-markets-dow-update-3-24-2020-11585012632.
Perdue, 25 Mar. 2020
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