Apprise Wealth Management’s Selected Readings for the Week of March 29, 2020

Stay Home Sign and the Effects of the Coronavirus

I hope you and your families are staying both healthy and safe. Earlier this week Governor Hogan imposed a “Stay at Home Order.” I take comfort in having my family home with me. Knowing they are safe and healthy matters above all else. I hope those of you reading this blog are as fortunate. I hope this week’s articles help you get through this difficult period. I wanted to explore some of the ways our lives may change once the worst of this crisis has passed.

Earlier this week, I published a blog summarizing some key provisions in the $2 trillion economic stimulus and relief package signed into law on March 27.

If you have any friends that are nervous and do not have an advisor or whose advisor is not reaching out to them, feel free to have them give me a call. I’m happy to spend 15 or 20 minutes answering their questions, no-obligation because they are a friend of yours.

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Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1.  The Hardest Part of a Buy & Hold Strategy. It’s a lot easier being a buy and hold investor in a rising market. When investing, doing nothing makes sense most of the time. It’s also much easier when things are going well. When the market falls, we often feel the need to do something. You may find the next two points surprising. According to Vanguard data, more than 90% of self-directed investors haven’t made a single trade during the recent market turmoil. Institutional investors are driving market activity. If you practice buy and hold investing, remember that bear markets come with the territory. As stated in the article, “The stock market has returned roughly 9.7% per year over the past 90+ years. That 9.7% includes the Great Depression, wars, recessions, rising interest rates, various political regimes, bear markets, busts, inflation, deflation, and everything in-between.”

2.  Don’t Make These 6 Biggest Mistakes If You’re Working From Home, Says Guy Who’s Done It for 10 Years. Many of us haven’t had much experience working from home until recently. I worked from home for seven years as an oil & gas equity analyst for a firm based in New York City. Apprise Wealth Management is a home-based business. I’ve followed the article’s first suggestion from the very start. When I began working from home, my wife had just given birth to our fourth child. I wanted my children to understand that even though I was home, I was working. I can’t recall more than one or two occasions where I didn’t prepare for the day the same way I would if I went to an office. It helps your mindset, too.

3. Which Way Now? As I’ve mentioned several times, I’m a big fan of Howard Marks. His latest memo addresses the positives and negatives related to actions taken by the government and the Fed/Treasury in their efforts to mitigate coronavirus’ spread and impact. He believes the range of negative outcomes is much wider. But says, “The world will get back to normal someday…. What matters most – in terms of both health and finances – is how we do in the interim.”

4. After the Pandemic: How the Coronavirus Will Change Our Lives Forever. This article addresses a question I’ve been wondering about. It asks questions about potential changes to how we visit our doctors, how we use mass transit, and how our social greetings may change. I also wonder if more of us will work virtually going forward. What will be the impact on office buildings? Will fewer people want to live in cities? How will it change our willingness to attend live sporting events?

5.  99% of Networking Is a Waste of Time. While this article dates back a few years, it addresses something else that could change once we put the worst of COVID-19 behind us.  Wednesday morning, I hosted a Zoom call for a small group that I have been meeting with twice a month for about two years. We were discussing some of the ways that being homebound may change how we conduct business in the future. We know that building the right relationships matters to our businesses. But, are big networking events good use of our time? Have you generated much new business through your attendance at such events? Perhaps, we would be better off if we spent more time with small groups, talking to our clients, and building relationships rather than handing out business cards.

If you need a pep talk or to discuss your investment strategy, please schedule a call or reply to this email. I’m here for you and happy to talk.


P.S. There has been an increase in coronavirus-related phishing and identity theft scams. Please be on alert for “official-looking” emails asking you to open an attachment or click a link to read an official statement – they may contain malware. If you get a suspicious email, check the sender’s name and email address to make sure they’re not fake. When in doubt, delete the email. Do you have someone in your life who you think might be at greater risk of email scams? Forward this to them so they’re aware.

We hope you find the above posts valuable. If you would like to talk to us about financial topics including your investments, creating a financial plan, saving for college, or saving for retirement, please complete our contact form. We will be in touch. We can schedule a call or a virtual meeting via Apprise Wealth Management’s Zoom account.

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