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They Say Hindsight is 20-20

May 23, 2020
Who would have thought that this phrase would hold so much meaning in this year – 2020?

It’s almost as if it was created for this moment. In my current state of social isolation (which means I’m talking to myself more) this phrase came to me the other day and I thought, oh my, we are in it! Quite frankly I am surprised no one else has mentioned this so far this year. I suppose after you read this, it will catch on.

So just remember you heard it here first folks!

There have been prominent individuals, scientists and organizations that had been sounding alarms a pandemic was heading our way. We may have heard them, but collectively we weren’t listening. It seems to be human nature that we don’t heed warnings until they are on top of us. At least the first time around. So in hindsight, we are experiencing a world health event that may have been less devastating otherwise. So where do we go from here?

The initial shock on the economy and the markets of this event has passed. The actions of the Federal Reserve and our elected officials has given a boost of confidence to our economy and other economies around the world. Many have followed suite and this has helped to maintain liquidity and stabilize the markets. The U.S. stock market has rallied off its lows of March 23rd in complete ignorance of the breathtaking decline in economic activity. Even though there is no precedent for the speed or magnitude of which the markets have had an about-face in this economic crisis, one can look at history to provide some understanding of the relationship between the stock market and economic data. At this point we see a market moving on any positive news, not necessarily solid data. We are also seeing a bifurcated market with a narrow group of companies doing extremely well and others struggling. It would be wonderful if this was it and we could say we are through this event – everything is opening up and life is getting back to “normal”. It has been reassuring to see portions of the market performing well.

We have had a lot of things working in our favor related to the speed at which the Federal Reserve and Congress have acted. Gentle reminders related to our health safety are all around us too. But there is no silver bullet or magic wand to make this go away. Winston Churchill is attributed with a quote I have often lived by when I went through a significant life crisis in 2003, “When going through Hell, just keep going”. The only way out is through. As for the markets, we have a ways to go before we are on more sold ground. We are no longer at the beginning of this bear market, but we don’t believe we are at the end either. Remember, the stock market is a leading indicator—typically starting its move into a bear market in advance of the economy entering a recession; and typically starting its move into a bull market in advance of the economy exiting a recession.

In the meantime, we have been addressing the question, what is the composition of the economy going to look like as we come out of this? It will be different. This directly impacts how portfolios need to be positioned and this has been the focus.

So for now, we hope you can take in the meaning of this time and enjoy family and friends in a safe way. On the lighter side I thought I would share what I received from a friend in Australia. Some things are the same no matter where we live. I hope you get a bit of a chuckle.

From Down Under:

• Until further notice, the days of the week are now called Thisday, Thatday, The Otherday, Someday, Yesterday, Today and Nextday!

• Just asked a 6-year old if he understands why there is no school. He said yes, because they are out of toilet paper.

• On the bright side, I am no longer calling this shelter-in-place. I am an artist-in-residence.

• After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my home but lacking the time, I have discovered that wasn’t the reason.

• Where is your next travel destination? - Las Kitchenas - Los Lounges - Santa Bedroomes - Porto Gardenas - Los Bed - Costa del Patios - St. Bathroom – La Rotonda de Sofa .

• You’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home.

• One word can change your attitude and one cough can change your life.

• If you thought toilet paper situation was crazy ... just wait until 300 million people all want a haircut appointment.

• 2020 is a unique Leap Year. It has 29 days in February, 300 days in March and 5 years in April.

• Wearing a mask inside your home is now highly recommended. Not so much to prevent COVID-19 but to stop eating.

• This cleaning with alcohol is total b.s. NOTHING gets done after that first bottle.

• Kinda’ starting to understand why pets try to run out of the house when the door opens.

• Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands???

• My Mum always told me I wouldn’t accomplish anything by laying in the bed all day, but look at me now! I’m saving the world!

• Whoever owes you money, go to their house now. They should be home.

Have a great weekend!

Teri, Bob & Tracey

This material is distributed by Alexander Financial Planning, Inc. (AFP) and it is for information purposes only. Although information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy. It is provided with the understanding that no fiduciary relationship exists because of this report. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily the opinions of AFP and they are subject to change without notice. AFP assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of this information. No portion of this writing should be construed as legal or accounting advice. All rights reserved.


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