SAVE THE DATE: Starting on July 8th, I will be hosting “Ask Me Anything” sessions on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 12:30. Please mark this date on your calendar. I will provide more details as the date approaches. You are welcome to email me any questions you would like me to address ahead of time.
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.
The market’s performance has been more like a rollercoaster over the past few months. First, the S&P 500 Index fell 34% from its February 19th high to its March 23rd low. Aided by the strongest three-day gains in more than 80 years, the S&P recaptured most of those losses. As of June 8th, the S&P was flat year-to-date. It was also down only 4.5% from its highest levels. Since then the market has mostly drifted lower. As of Wednesday’s close, it was down about 10% from its February 19th close. This week’s third link is the latest memo from Oaktree Capital’s Howard Marks. In it, he shares some thoughts on what’s behind the market’s performance.
On the virus front, please see below for some articles supporting the idea of wearing a mask. Remember that by wearing one, you’re protecting others. Wearing a mask significantly reduces the risk of virus transmission.
Click here for a video overview of this week’s content.
Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:
1. When Should You Sell Your Stocks? During difficult markets, many investors find it hard to hold onto their stocks. According to Fidelity, nearly one-third of their investors aged 65 and older liquidated their stock holdings between February and May. This contrasts with the 18% rate for Fidelity’s overall platform. Unfortunately, scary times and panic are never good reasons for selling your stocks. What’s worse? Selling and waiting for the dust to settle. Read the article for some thoughts on when you should sell some or all of your stocks.
2. How to Clean and Disinfect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Stuff. Are you looking for some guidance on keeping yourself (and just about everything else) clean and virus-free? This article offers some suggestions. It offers suggestions for those who can’t find supplies, too. It links to an article with instructions for making CDC-approved face masks. A CDC-recommended recipe for a homemade cleaning solution is also included.
3. The Anatomy of a Rally. Many wonder how after falling 34% in five weeks the S&P 500 Index could rally so quickly from its lows. As of Wednesday’s close, the market was down about 10% from its February peak. During this period, we have been dealing with the worst global pandemic in a century and the greatest economic contraction since the Great Depression. In his latest memo, Oaktree Capital’s Howard Marks takes a look at the possible reasons for the market’s recovery. He also reviews the negatives that still exist. It shouldn’t be surprising that Marks’ outlook is cautious at best.
4. Want to Avoid Another Shutdown? Wear a Mask, Experts Advise. I admit that I don’t understand some people’s reluctance to wearing a mask. It seems like common courtesy. After all, you’re doing it for the benefit of others much more than yourself. If you see someone else wearing a mask, return the favor. Wear one, too. Do you wonder why the number of COVID-19-related deaths in Asian countries is much lower than in the U.S.? Nearly everyone wears a mask. Countries such as Japan haven’t had lockdowns and many businesses remain open. For further information, you can also read these:
5. A Father’s Letter to His Kid: The 9 Money and Life Lessons Most People Learn Too Late in Life. Many families don’t talk much about personal finance. Most schools don’t teach personal finance either. Do you have children and want to share some financial guidance? Do you struggle with what to say? You could do much worse than sharing the suggestions in this article.
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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.
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