Special COVID-19 Edition

Mar 17, 2020 | Paul Monette


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SPECIAL COVID-19 EDITION

Where do we start?

First off, I hope all of you are well from a health point of view. Money seems important, but the health card always trumps finances. However, you are not looking to me for health guidance – if you want that, just turn on the news!

As for the markets, uncertainty is always the biggest culprit. There is lots of uncertainty out there today. How long is this virus going to slow down a large portion of the economy?  What are the survival rates going to turn out to be? Like a strand of the flu? Or something worse?  At this point the recovery rates seem to be quite encouraging.

There is no doubt that the economic effects of this are very real and nobody can predict the extent. Our job is not about predictions – it is about discipline.

Those that get through times like this with the least scars are those that simply stick to their guns. We started with a good portfolio that had the right mix of stocks and bonds/GIC’s and cash so now we just have to see it through.

It is simple to look back and say I should have (or I did) see it coming. Of course you did – you just did not know when. I heard this from people literally 5 years ago. Can you imagine being out of the market and missing the last 5 years? You would have not only missed a crazy Bull Market, but after taxes and inflation, you would have less than you have today after a huge market correction (crash?).

Let’s face it – the world is not going to end. There are wonderful companies out there that will continue to thrive. Are people going to stop using their phones? Heating their homes? Eating? (Unfortunately there will always be a segment of society where this is actually the case – we have to get better at reducing that.)

Opportunities in times like this are very intriguing – not only great dividend yields on quality Blue Chips, but growth for companies that help us through these times…bacteria killing robots (seriously), hand sanitizer, pharmaceutical companies, grocery stores, especially if they were well stocked up on toilet paper! (I am not sure what the toilet paper thing is all about???)

We have to be careful when we attach articles or websites to client pieces like this – all have to be vetted by our compliance department.  So I will not attach anything specific. I would strongly recommend that you look outside your regular sources of news.  Be creative and look for pieces from sources outside of your comfort zone and outside of your geographic area.  Look at what people who you respect are saying; Warren Buffett?  Tom Hanks?  The Queen?  World Leaders – existing and predecessors?

It is like trying to overcome the fear of flying – the more you know about how something works, the less fear is associated with it.

At the time of writing, the markets are down about 30% from their highs…they might be up or down more than this by the end of the month. But this will pass and people will start to shop and travel and the economy will look to get society all of the things that it needs … yes the markets will recover as they always do.

We at “Team Monette” are so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of clients that “GET IT”.

But we all need some hand holding or a hug once in a while – even at times when we are not supposed to touch each other. Trust me, there have been times lately when I could have used a hug!

Give us a call or pop us an email – we may end up working remotely for a while but we will be “here” or “somewhere” for you.

For up to date information of a more technical nature, please refer the "COVID-19 Preparedness" tab or hover over the white"Insight" tab -> "Paul's Prose" -> "Going to Extremes" Market Update or the following URL:

http://dsnet.fg.rbc.com/assets/advisornet/docs/investment-management/portfolio_advisory_group/client_commentary/global_insight/brief/2020/market_update_031720.pdf

 

Can I get a Bit Positive?

You know that old saying that things happen for a reason? Well I really think this is one of them.

For me the world just seemed to be working towards a point where everyone was just going to hate everybody … politics, religion, minor hockey, driving practices … little by little our tolerance level for each other was being dwindled away and smaller and smaller meaningless events seemed like a justifiable reason for hatred.

But throughout this crisis I have seen the best come out of people. Strangers coming together in droves to help strangers. People developing respect for politicians and business leaders and professionals that they previously had no time for. Some examples of what I am talking about include:

  • A lady in Nova Scotia raising money to provide to service staff who will no longer be receiving their much relied on ‘tips’. She has started a movement that is taking part across the country now!
  • University students with classes cancelled offering to do whatever it takes for our health care professionals to keep doing what they have to do – primarily it’s babysitting their kids for free while their kids are home for at least the next 3 weeks!
  • Volunteers coming together via social media to set up free delivery service for essential goods for the most vulnerable of our society who cannot afford to ‘stock up’ during self-isolation.

The list goes on – let’s get all of the positive we can out of this pandemic and receive a wealth of good by giving back.