Recent news surrounding the coronavirus has shaken investor confidence over the past few trading sessions.
Several of my clients have contacted me with concerns about how the global spread of the coronavirus may affect their financial portfolio. With the 24-hours news cycle focused on the disease and countless social media posts and articles offering information and advice that may or may not be accurate, discerning how to best protect your personal physical health—as well as make decisions regarding your investments—during this period of uncertainty can be difficult.
My first words of advice to everyone— regarding both your physical and your financial health—are "don't panic." While markets move up and down for many reasons, take a deep breath and step back to scrutinize the information (or misinformation) you're receiving to ensure you are making the most thoughtful decisions.
In the words of Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and its David Geffen School of Medicine from a recent Washington Post article, “There’s no value in panicking or telling people to be afraid. Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus. That can be extremely difficult because it is new, and we’re still learning about it, but don’t allow fear of what we don’t know about the virus to overwhelm what we do know.”
That's good advice as we not only consider how our day-to-day lives may be affected by the virus, but also as we consider how financial markets are reacting to it, including:
- U.S. equities have fallen for four-straight trading sessions
- Investors remain concerned about human life and economic impact
- Central banks offer some potential downside protection
Prepare & Practice for Disruption
One of the best things you can do to prepare for any emergency, including a coronavirus outbreak, is put together an emergency kit. In addition, it's also important to have plans in place in case the outbreak disrupts your daily routines, You should be asking yourself:
- What if schools close for a week or two?
- What if there are issues with public transportation?
- What if I have to work from home or stay at work late?
- What is my plan for child care, for getting to work and for feeding pets?
According to Saskia V. Popescu, a senior infection-prevention epidemiologist for a Phoenix-based hospital system: “This is a good reminder to go through your resources and your plans so that, should it get more serious, you are not taken off guard. People think they need to go out and buy stuff, but so much of it is just having a plan.”
When clients call in a panic, I first thank them for being proactive and reaching out to discuss what options they may have. It's great that they are taking the initiative to explore strategies and options to protect their assets in an uncertain market.
I am always here to offer no-pressure advice about flexible and innovative financial solutions. I work with experienced money managers who offer investment strategies that can go into cash positions in event of a crisis to try to preserve your investment.*
I invite you to call me if you have any questions on concerns about how your investments may be affected by current market conditions. You don’t have to ride a volatile market to the bottom. Let's work together to take the worry out of an uncertain time so you can focus on you and your family's health.
Want a more in-depth analysis of current market trends? Click here to read Virus Concerns Shake Global Markets, recent commentary written by my broker-dealer, Cetera Investment Management LLC.
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*Investments in securities do not offer a fixed rate of return. Principal, yield and/or share price will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and, when sold or redeemed, you may receive more or less than originally invested. No system or financial planning strategy can guarantee future results.