After 28 years of doing this you never know what is going to come around the corner. This time we had a virus that derailed the markets in the last month. I will let the medical people debate this issue but from a market perspective we have seen this before.
Markets on both sides of the world were sold down fast and furious and this is what happens when the wave of selling occurs. There is no real way to avoid this as with any selloff people sell on fears (whether real or perceived) before facts and selling begets more selling. It is extremely hard to sit and watch this action but to sell on emotion is extremely harmful to long term results. Everything goes down at once but good quality always comes back first. The time to be a buyer in the market is when it is on sale and from what we just experienced this can be extremely difficult to do. It is always easy to fear the worst and at some points in time that emotion overrules everything. It is our job to get through this. I will not be able to completely avoid the short term selloffs but I will be able to know what we own, not act in panic and handle the portfolios based on facts.
Going forward there will be a lot more positives coming out of this current situation. We have seen global health care companies work together to tackle this issue without worrying about getting credit or profits. We have been able to keep a good portion of people working from home or other locations. We are social beings and eventually this will come back as well. In the next few months we will get more facts from corporations and the economy. This will allow better decisions to be made regarding the market. There is a lot of cheap companies out there and as time goes on better times are ahead. I will stay disciplined and committed to seeing our portfolios get back on track and use my previous years’ experience to accomplish this.
Paul Belous, CIM
Vice President, Portfolio Manager