A friend of mine, who is also a financial advisor, used to tell his clients: “there will be days like today where you want to drive by my house and throw a brick through the window. If you do, just be sure to attach a check to it.”
The past few weeks have been particularly jarring when we see what’s happening in the markets. For several years now we’ve been expecting this bull market to come to an end. This week it ended. I think what’s surprising to all of us is how quickly and violently the downturn has come. While many of us knew that a bull market couldn’t last forever, I don’t think we envisioned its end like this.
And that’s the thing about markets and downturns. If we knew what would cause the next recession, we’d work to fix it and the markets would accommodate and not experience a downturn.
When we build investment strategies for our clients we build them for the good times and for the bad times. I believe the past few weeks are bad times in the market. Not only that, but the fear that’s sweeping our country and globe about COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus) itself, how to protect ourselves, and the need to change behaviors is alarming in and of itself.
I write all of that to state this: when we have an investment strategy in place, weeks like this past one are not the weeks to make a change. The bull market that has ended began about this time 11 years ago. We haven’t quite seen anything like this for a while. However, this too shall pass. I would be lying if I told you I knew how this negative volatility ends. Markets do recover—it’s simply a matter of time. It could be quick if we, as a society, get a meaningful grip on the disease. It could also cause a prolonged recession and it could take a year or longer for this to recover.
As a side note, I am more than happy to hold virtual client meetings as we go forward. I’m hoping we don’t have to resort to that forever. Simply know that I can be available via video chat, screen sharing, and of course the phone. I would ask that if you’re not feeling well that we meet remotely. Our team is also prepared to work remotely in the event that any of us don’t feel well.
There are some exciting changes coming for our practice. You can expect to hear more soon as we begin our transition from Thrivent’s career channel to the Thrivent Advisor Network, a registered investment adviser. However right now, please note we’re focused on what’s going on in the markets, in the economy, and are prepared to walk along side of you, as you think about what it might mean for you.
Thank you for the trust you continue to place in me, our team, and Thrivent.