I’m not going to blow sunshine up your butt today. I’m also not going to tell you to, “Stay the course,” or, “Just relax,” or, “Calm down, this will all blow over soon,” either. However, I’m not trying to scare you or cause you to panic either, so please don’t take it that way. That is not my intent.
Rather, I’m going to tell you exactly what’s going on inside my mind lately (I know, this is a dangerous experiment) and tell you exactly where we are today in regard to the stock markets and the economy.
I’m not a medical professional, a therapist, or an economist. I’m just a guy who crafts financial plans and helps folks manage their money and investments. That’s what I get paid to do all day.
Before we go any further, let’s take stock (no pun intended) of where we are right now. I must tell you that numbers can be cherry-picked for whatever agenda one is seeking to disseminate. My agenda today is to tell you the truth. There’s so much noise on social media and in the news these days that the truth oftentimes can get lost.
Let’s first look at the year-to-date percentages for the Dow Jones Industrial Index, the S&P500, and the NASDAQ indices.
Dow Jones Industrial Index -25.58%
S&P 500 -21.72%
Now let’s look at the numbers from each index’s record high which occurred roughly a month ago.
Dow Jones Industrial Index -28.18%
Okay, so that’s where we are. How did you feel seeing that? Some days I feel like we’re down 75% from the record highs.
What do I think about all of this? Okay, I’ll tell you.
Do I worry about my clients 24/7 due to all of this? Yep.
Do I sit around at night after the kids have gone to bed and wonder how this is all going to play out? Yep.
Do I worry about my family’s health? Yep.
Maybe this is why. These are some of the events that have transpired over the last few weeks.
- The NCAA tournament got canceled.
- The NBA shut down.
- Major League Baseball pushed back their opening day from late March to mid-May.
- PGA golf shut down all their tournaments through mid-April.
- The State of Illinois has declared a state of emergency.
- The U.S. Government has declared a national emergency.
- Schools are closed statewide for at least two weeks.
- There is no toilet paper to be found anywhere.
- All restaurants and bars have been ordered to shut down dine-in service for two weeks statewide.
- Stocks have had not one, but two, “worst days since October 1987.” Also known as Black Monday when stocks dropped 20% In. One. Day.
- Most of the major stock indices just dropped 12% or more during the time I was writing this.
These are amazing times, folks.
You may be out there thinking about what you should do in terms of your investments. Go to cash? Start buying? Get more aggressive? Load up on bonds? Take out a 2nd mortgage and put it all in CAT/AAPL/DIS etc.?
That’s a tough call, but it’s yours to make, but you don’t have to make it alone. If you would like some advice, or a sounding board, then by all means, please reach out to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s going on.
Here’s what I do know:
We will get through this. We will recover. We will thrive once again.
However, here’s what I don’t know:
When that will happen.
Most of us have sat and stared in disbelief as the stock market drops 10% one day, goes up 10% the next, then drops 13% the following day. We sit in our offices and homes and wonder what the best move is. For all of you out there who are consumed with fear, anxiety and inaction, I completely understand. It happens to me here and there as well.
With all that said, we can’t forget that this is America. We defeated the Nazis. We put a man on the moon. We won World War I. We survived the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918. We survived the Cuban Missile Crisis. We got through the Great Depression. We got through 9/11. We made it through the severe recession of 2008/2009.
Not only did we survive those historical events, but we thrived. We moved onto higher and higher stock markets. We experienced (and still are experiencing) a technological boom that is incredible if you really think about it.
Our government, on all levels, is taking incredible steps to contain this virus. They are taking unprecedented steps to help the economy. The Federal Reserve has taken interest rates back to zero, for all intents and purposes. The Federal Reserve has also formulated a plan to inject billions of dollars into the economy. The White House is floating plans to send each of us $1,000 to help all of us out during these difficult times.
It’s all hands on deck, folks.
Here’s what else I’m doing:
- Turning off the news.
- Staying off social media.
- Spending more time with my kids than ever before.
- Getting things done around the house.
- Realizing what’s truly important in life.
- Leaning on my support system.
- Seeing our community come together to help those less fortunate.
- Seeing our community come together to support small businesses that are being impacted.
For whatever reason, I’m reminded of what Ed Harris said in the movie Apollo 13 as the moon mission was falling off the rails and the lives of the astronauts were in danger. One of his team members stated, “This will be one of the worst disasters NASA has ever experienced.” Ed Harris replied with:
“With all due respect sir, I believe this will be our finest hour.”
This is my hope for our country right now. That THIS will be our finest hour.