From the Desk of Dale Crossley and Evan Shear
“In a Blink of an Eye”
It seems like all of our lives have been drastically altered in the blink of an eye. Not that anyone needs a reminder of what we have all been going through, but from a market standpoint, we hit a high on 2/19 and then within a few weeks we were deep in a bear market for the first time in over 10 years. From a low of around 30% down for the year, the markets have tried to find some footing as of the writing of this article. It will take some time for our economy to heal, but we are certain it will.
More importantly, our lives and how we live has changed. For us personally, we have been working remotely since early on in this pandemic. Our homes and home offices have become our war rooms and our trading floors. We have done numerous Zoom meetings and even Dale, who admittedly isn’t the best with technology, has become more proficient with it. My kids are all home and my oldest son’s sophomore college baseball season came to an abrupt end. The shining light of this new lifestyle is the nightly family meals and marathon UNO games. I’ve been trying to look for the joy in this crisis and family and friends, including our clients, have definitely been the best part. We have heard from many of you checking in with us, not just to see how your portfolios are doing, but rather how WE are doing. We want you to know that these calls and notes have a special place in the hearts of our entire team.
This is certainly not the crisis any of us foresaw when we started discussing the possibility of a coming recession or market volatility. For the most part we have weathered it rather well with our tactical models and time-tested strategies. Having a plan and sticking with it is vital when times of stress hit us, both financially and personally. It’s when we allow emotions to take over that we have seen the most destruction to wealth – not only today, but in the past. We appreciate the faith and trust you have all given to Dale, myself and the entire firm and hope you realize how special you are all to us.
As Evan mentioned, emotional financial decisions are rarely helpful and often devastating. This has been a very trying time for us all, but also very interesting. As a student of behavioral finance every day provides an opportunity to learn. Within minutes we can receive completely opposite questions or concerns from clients, sometimes it might even be the same person. "Should we be going to cash to stop the bleeding?” "Should we be buying to take advantage of the downturn?" More than anything we are thankful that you have all entrusted us to answer these questions for you and your families. We are humbled to be able to lead, guide and direct you.
We certainly don't have all the answers, but our commitment has and will always be to put your interests above our own. In an effort to do that, we will continue to separate the narrative from the data and do the requisite research and continuing education to ensure that we are giving the best possible advice to keep you on track to reach your goals. That is the promise of our entire team.
The markets will recover, because they ALWAYS do. They will start the recovery before the news says, “all clear.” Our country will recover, because it ALWAYS does. That doesn't mean perfect. It will never be perfect. Don't bet against our Country. Don't bet against our scientists, our doctors and healthcare workers, our entrepreneurs, our philanthropists, or our people.
We encourage you to take what extra time this tragedy has afforded you to reexamine what's truly important to you. I am thankful for being able to use this time to reconnect with family and friends, even if mostly remotely. Reach out and check on people. Let your loved ones know how you feel. Reexamine your health plan, diet and fitness. Read a book. Take a walk. Finish a project. Learn something new.
This has no doubt been a roller coaster ride and will continue to be for the near future. Unfortunately, it’s only the scary part of the ride, without any of the fun. Do your best to separate the narrative from the data. This may mean turning off the TV for a few days. Everyone please take care of yourself and your family. Many things have changed forever, but we will recover and be stronger than ever. This too shall pass.
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