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COVID-19 Where Are We Now

written by:

Janet Walker
Co-Owner | Financial Advisor

At Time of This Writing...

 

The S&P 500 is down 12.5% year over year.

    • It had been down over 30% from the peak, so it has had a little bounce back up.
    • Which way is it going next?

 

$2,000,000,000,000 relief package is in process to be sent out to the masses.

    • Everybody is calling it a stimulus package, but it’s really a relief package.
    • This is the largest relief (or stimulus) package in the history of the world.
    • It is intended to give relief to businesses and individuals from slowed or stopped cash flow due to COVID-19.
      • Businesses will receive money to keep people employed.
      • Depending upon income, most individuals and families will receive money to help them cover some of these lean times.

COVID-19 

    • The United States leads the world in the number of cases in any given country, but keep in mind that we have a much greater population than most of the other countries. The obvious exception to that is China, but, no offense, we are pretty sure that they are lying about their numbers.
    • Arkansas’ cases are growing in number, but we are grateful that they are growing at a slower pace than anticipated. In other words, we are successfully flattening the curve through our social distancing efforts.
    • The number of people hospitalized in Arkansas from COVID-19 is currently down from 90 to in the 50s.
    • We are social distancing for at least the rest of April.
    • If you are discouraged by our response to the Coronavirus here in the US, consider what the dictator of Turkmenistan (north of Iran and Afghanistan) has done.
      • It’s illegal to say the word “coronavirus.” Reporters Without Borders reports that “special people” are listening and will take away anyone who talks about coronavirus.
      • In spite of being in denial about the existence of Coronavirus, they have extended school holidays and banned restaurants, sporting events, and gyms.
      • It could be worse. We could be missing all the events and activities and be in the dark as to the reason. Can you imagine the fear that would bring?

SO, WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN IN THIS TOPSY TURVY WORLD?

  • Our nation
    • Well, first of all, I’m grateful to be in the United States of America, where we are at least honest about what is happening. That allows us to work together to beat this in so many ways.
    • Aristotle is quoted as saying, “A common danger unites even the bitterest of enemies.” Our people have been incredibly divided and frankly intentionally divisive toward our fellow Americans for far too long now. I am in hopes that the unity this brings can continue on some level after the crisis is over. We have already seen Republicans and Democrats come together in ways that would not have happened just a few weeks ago. I pray that unity spreads at a greater rate than the Coronavirus ever has.
    • I am grateful to live in a country that is fighting this together in every way possible:
      • Social distancing
      • Financial relief package
      • Medical research
  • Our economy
    • It has been said that this is a business crisis, not a financial I could not agree more. The fundamentals of our economy were solid prior to the Coronavirus. The reality is that, when people can’t go to work, our economy comes to a screeching halt.
    • With the relief package as a bridge to get us through until we can all go back to work, we expect that the economy will recover from this given some time.
    • At GenWealth, we always have believed and always will believe in the resiliency of the American people and, therefore, of the American economy. We believe that getting back to work will ultimately be what the economy needs, although it will take some time to recover.

The new “normal” for most of us reminds me of the character played by Meryl Streep in Mary Poppins Returns. The character has a very long name, but she says that you can call her “Topsy.” On the second Wednesday of every month, she is gravitationally challenged, and her whole world “turns turtle” as she says. It literally turns upside down. She explains it like this: “It means my whole world goes flippity-flop like a turtle on its back. And I don’t know my up from my down, my east from my west, my topsy from my bottom-sy.” She just shuts down and doesn’t do anything on the second Wednesday, when her world is topsy turvy.

Along comes an entertaining song, and Mary Poppins shares some wisdom with Topsy. “You see, when the world turns upside down, the best thing is to turn right along with it.” Topsy tries turning upside down with her upside-down world and says, “When you change the view from where you stood, the things you view will change for good. I never thought of things that way – now Wednesdays are my favorite day.”

 

What are some ways that your world is “topsy turvy” these days?

  • Working from home? With lots of distractions?
  • Homeschooling your kids, when you weren’t wired to be a homeschooler?
  • Sick? Or a family member who is?
  • Isolated from some of your family to protect them?
  • Investments decreased in value?
  • Concerned that you or a loved one might die?
  • Just generally anxious or scared?
  • Miss seeing your friends?
  • Miss being able to attend church?

 

Let’s turn for a moment with our topsy turvy world and look at some of the benefits and opportunities during this upside-down time.

  • Remember when you used to dread going to work on Mondays? Will you be grateful to return when the time comes?
  • Remember how you thought about sleeping in sometimes instead of going to church? We live in a country where many of us take our religious freedom for granted, but I think that our gratitude has increased. Imagine how packed our churches will be when this is over and we can all get together again!
  • Remember how insanely packed your calendar was before all this started? Mine looks like a teacher went crazy with a red pen, marking through all the things that have been cancelled. Maybe it’s a chance to slow down even after social distancing is a thing of the past. Now is a good time to just be still, intentionally, and maybe it will lead to more of that when the pace picks back up for all of us.
  • Remember when the market was soaring? Has this experience made you realize that you might need a financial plan for times like these?
  • Has the reality of the death rate made you concerned? Have you thought about life insurance on a deeper level for the first time ever? Death has always seemed so much farther out, but now maybe it’s more real to you. That’s an opportunity to plan for your family’s future now.

We have said from the beginning of all this that the individual financial problems from this would not arise so much from the Corona Contraction as they would from how people responded to it on an individual level, like whether they sold when their investments were down, etc. The same is true of all these other areas.

Your world has turned topsy turvy, just like it did for me and everybody else. The question is whether you will turn with it and accept where we are for now or just fight against it and fuss about it. The challenge is very real, but so is your ability to rise above it and get some benefit from this new “normal.” Personally, I pray that, as Topsy said, some of the things that we view will indeed change for good.

Where Are We Now In this Topsy Turvy World?

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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