As a thing reoccurs often enough, it begins to feel normal. Today’s extreme social separation, while very necessary, seems unlikely to ever feel “normal.” I would love to hang around my coffee shop and trade stories about how everyone is coping with life at home, and I’m still trying to figure out how and when I will ever get a haircut! The streets are quiet, but the sidewalks are very busy.
Aside from daily updates on the now infamous virus, many thoughts are turning to the recovery. Not just the health of our planet, but the financial health of our world all the way down to our personal situations. The looming question is whether this inevitable recovery will be V shaped or U shaped. Obviously, a V is more desirable indicating that we will bounce back almost as quickly as we dropped off as opposed to a U shape which will require more time to rebuild our momentum. The answer is directly related to the length of time that our world is shut down. The sooner we can get back to work and restore our economic activity, the shorter the recovery time. Our progress towards stemming the spread of the virus, and ultimately finding a vaccine are paramount.
There is no recent precedent for the pandemic, however, we can draw on the financial crisis of 2007 – 2009. According to politicalcalculations.com, this “scary time” saw a nearly 50% drop in the S&P 500 Index*, but was followed by a 13.55% average annual total return from October 2009 through December 31, 2019. Remember, the markets will anticipate this economic turn long before it occurs, so we must trust our long-term, goal focused, wealth plans.
Every day I read about progress in medical research and the new possibilities in fighting this virus, as testing continues to ramp up significantly in the US. We humans are very adaptive, which is why we have survived this long, and I am confident that we can overcome this setback as well.
Here are three things you can do to make that very long “today” seem a bit shorter:
- Vaccinate yourself. Limit your news time; all that you can possibly hear today is doom and gloom anyway, so how much of this does one really need? Talking about growth and progress is infinitely more pleasant and is seldom found on the major networks.
- Don’t give up on ingenuity. America has a very long line of victories when our backs are against the wall, and a bet against our ability to adapt has historically been a bad bet. Allow for the unseen positives that are at work this very moment. Remember your Bigger Future!
- Gratitude turns what we have into enough. I recently noticed the lines are not as long at the grocery store, and the shelves have returned to normal. I am grateful to so many individuals who are striving to solve this challenge, at every level.
Remain calm and carry on!
My very best to you and your families,
*The Standard & Poor’s Index is an unmanaged index which cannot be invested in directly. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.