Odd days behind, stranger days ahead

Mar 16, 2020 | Jeremy Goldfarb


I envision that my posts for the next while will be much less colorful, be more narrow in nature, and be delivered in a fluid format. For a society that has adapted more rapidly to change than any generation before us (mostly technology drive), the curve ball we are facing as a collective is like nothing we have ever seen before. I am trying to find comparable global events.....Spanish flu, WWI or WWII, any other ideas?? The speed at which the situation has overcome almost every aspect of our lives is blinding, and the weight of doubt and worry under which we sit right now is crushing.


I fielded calls all day today. I made calls all day today. The issues we covered ranged from " what do we do with our portfolios" to " we need to make sure our employees are cared for". I am learning on the fly from this one, like many others.


In the investment world, there are just as few answers, and the same number of questions all dominated by the uncertainty we are presented with. While the short term pain stings quite a bit, I am confident in the way our portfolios were set up headed into this (not like I saw it coming, so please no phone calls on that). Proper portfolio management, proper understanding of risk and time horizon, proper asset allocation......


Sure, there are positions in the portfolio that I wish we did not own (Canadian preferred share ETFs), but we can use those mistakes to offset big gains that will almost certainly come in the future. If there are any steps one should be taking in the current environment, might I suggest a few:

1- Look up and down your portfolio and consider whether the positions you own are doing what they are supposed to do

2- Capital losses can be carried forward, and will most certainly come in handy sooner rather than later (2019 or 2017 anyone)

3- talk with your professional advisor and keep the dialogue open


During these times, professionals in my industry will be tested like they rarely are. These women and men will be called on to help families understand, or make sense of what is happening in the investment world. I encourage you to keep phoning me if you have, call me if you haven't and reach out to me if we have never even met.


We need to help each other. I want to make sure I am contributing as much as I can.