I hope everyone is staying both healthy and safe. My wife and I are fortunate to have our children home with us during this difficult time. One of our favorite new pastimes is family game night. All six of us have played a fun game of Texas Hold’em the last three Saturday nights. We’ll try a different game this week but may end up playing more poker, too.
As the title of this week's first article suggests, we have no way of knowing for sure what happens next. What happens to department stores? When will sports leagues resume play? Two of this week's other articles address those questions.
If you have any friends that are nervous and do not have an advisor or whose advisor is not reaching out to them, feel free to have them give me a call. I’m happy to spend 15 or 20 minutes answering their questions, no-obligation because they are a friend of yours.
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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 You Have No Idea What Happens Next. We often try to forecast what will happen next. As the pandemic has shown, our assumptions about what will happen next can be destroyed overnight. Are there more surprises in store? Yes, but they are unknowable. What can we do about it? How do we think about a world where fundamental assumptions can change so radically? The author offers two suggestions:
· Read more history and fewer forecasts
· Have more expectations and fewer forecasts
2. Bad Wi-Fi Is Slowing You Down. Fix Yours Without Spending a Dime. With most of us working or taking classes from home, Wi-Fi’s importance has grown. If your Wi-Fi is slow, or your internet connection seems bad, what do you do? Can you get a technician to come and take a look? Probably not. This article provides a guide to some of the most common problems. It also offers some solutions. Best of all, most of them don’t cost anything.
3. When Your Favorite Sport Might Be Coming Back. Speculation about when professional sports leagues may return to action is increasing. According to a recent estimate, the shutdown has cost these leagues at least $12 billion so far. The aggressive moves by some state governors to start reopening their economies contribute to the optimism. Do you want to see your favorite team(s) back in action? If so, cheer for these governors to be right.
4. The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive.’ Coronavirus and its implications represent the latest blow to department stores and malls. Sales of clothing and accessories dropped by more than 50% in March. That trend will likely worsen in April. When stores re-open, how eager will we be to go inside and try on clothes? Many well-known department stores could declare bankruptcy. This may allow them to strategically close stores and lower their rental obligations. Others may never open again.
5. Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Transcript 2020. I have owned shares of Berkshire Hathaway since 1998. I also attended several shareholder meetings in Omaha, including 2015's 50th-anniversary meeting. This year’s meeting was quite different. Omaha did not transform into “Woodstock for capitalists” this year. Warren Buffett presented from the same arena as always. But it was far from full. You can watch the meeting or read the transcript. Buffett has not been buying stocks aggressively during the pandemic. While his long-term outlook remains positive, he shares much of the uncertainty we all feel.
If you need a pep talk or to discuss your investment strategy, please schedule a call or reply to this email. I'm here for you and happy to talk.
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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