Broker Check

First Quarter 2020 Commentary

The first quarter of the decade has definitely earned its place in the history books and will forever be identified by the coronavirus outbreak. It hit our borders like a tidal wave forcing our country to take extraordinary measures to contain the virus while investors re-evaluated its impact on the economy. Stock market indices reached record highs, sold off in record time, and were able to recoup some losses before closing out the worst quarter in history. As we’ve all come to understand, COVID-19 poses a threat to all individuals and businesses, and by extension, economies and markets at large. To combat this public health issue, sacrifices are being made to put people’s lives first, no matter what the cost. However, there is no doubt we will come out of this wiser and better than we can possibly imagine today.

The government took swift action to prevent COVID-19 from spreading and destroying the U.S. economy in the process. The Federal Reserve Bank responded faster than it did during the Financial Crisis by pumping over a trillion dollars of liquidity into our financial system. In addition, lawmakers passed a historic stimulus package - with a two trillion dollar price tag - to reduce the financial stress caused by COVID-19 for workers and businesses alike. Together, these unprecedented efforts are intended to bridge the gap and put us in a better position for a stronger recovery on the other side of this outbreak.

Since COVID-19 is a public health issue, investors cannot expect the economy to get back on track until the virus reaches peak levels, then slows. Expectations for a downturn in the first and second quarter have been priced into the markets and the probability of a recession has become a forgone conclusion. Although we believe the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus packages can alleviate selling pressure in the short run, we are not sure it will be enough. Thankfully, both the Federal Reserve Bank and the government seem to be willing to do more, if necessary.

As we all continue to make sense of this fluid situation, we expect market volatility to remain elevated in the near term. It’s understandable to have concerns about how it will affect your portfolio. While we realize this market downturn can be extremely painful to watch, let’s not forget the markets are resilient. Although this situation may feel different, it is following the same pattern we’ve seen many times before and have successfully navigated with a diversified portfolio. We remain flexible in our investment strategy and mindful of your long term goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. If anything has changed on your end, let’s talk. We are here to guide you during this trying time.

We have updated our company disclosures, as we do every year, but no material changes were made. If you’d like to view a copy of our 2020 Form ADV Part 2A & 2B, please visit www.certifiedplannersinc.com (and click on Regulatory Disclosures footer) or visit the SEC public access site at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. We wish you and yours good health and continued well-being.