Updated: Jul 6
The two will help get us through!
Many people have seen more substantial ‘black swan’ events than me, but in my adult life, I have seen a fair share, from the 1997 stock market crash, to the 2001 terrorist attack on the USA, the 2003 SARS epidemic and the 2008 global financial meltdown. None were pretty, but we came out of all of them. This current pandemic is no different; there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
If you read my blog, and you are on a fixed income (as I am), a 30% or more downward correction to your portfolio is likely to be troubling in the moment. But it is important to remember that this is ‘a moment in time’. I expect to be enjoying my ‘relaunch’ for a few decades (at least), so am doing my best to remain sanguine regarding the end game and staying put where I am, both physically and financially.
My past experiences with these ‘black swan’ events have been instructive. I was working for Marriott during the 9-11 event that severely impacted the travel and hospitality sector, along with stock prices for companies in that sector. Following the destruction of the twin towers, Marriott stock was down 35% from early September of 2001 and by March of 2002, it had recovered to the September 2001 levels. In the wake of current events, the Marriott stock price is down more than 60% off its high. This is not a recommendation to go out and buy travel and hospitality shares right now, I am just offering a measure of perspective.
So while the mood is seriously impacted, we should be reminded that being social is still possible – albeit physically distant – and we should challenge ourselves to find imaginative ways to interact with each other virtually. We all need to do our utmost to help by complying with CDC recommendations and host country restrictions, and encourage our social circle to stay active and engage with us in a positive way. Be kind, be helpful and be considerate!
I am dealing with the challenge by exercising and the DC weather is cooperating by enticing us outdoors. There are many species in the DC area ‘blossoming’ that should motivate and encourage – daffodils, forsythia, hyacinth and magnolia are among the colorful mood enhancers. Outdoor exercise is also compliant with the current recommendations and distracts from the fluidness and intensity of media news and information that we are receiving relative to the present situation. So get out while you can, while also maintaining a distance from others! If the situation changes as it has elsewhere in the world, exercise indoors with family members, online with friends or join a free exercise class online.
Most of all, stay well, keep your spirits up and if you found this message helpful, please share it on whichever social media platform you use.