March 17, 2020
What a change a weekend can make! Much of the world is staying home, and now that includes us here in Southern California. Our leaders are beginning to understand the potential seriousness of this pandemic and are taking extraordinary measures to protect the population.
Is it a good idea to restrict our freedom of movement and isolate us physically from each other? In my view, yes. A virus which we, the people, have never seen before and for which we therefore have no innate immunity, must be combated by stopping it from jumping from one human host to the next. That is what we are doing.
When we touch one another, or when we touch what others have touched, we provide an opportunity for a virus such as COVID-19 to be transferred to one another. Maintaining distance and being careful that what we touch is disinfected from virus will prevent such transfer.
While very disruptive, frustrating and costly, these measures will stop the virus from spreading to the degree that members of the communities cooperate. And if the virus has nowhere to go, no other host to infect, it will die.
I do not know how long our social behavior will be disrupted in this way, but I presume and hope it will be measured in weeks.
There will be consequences that will last somewhat longer. Our social and economic engines will have to restart, and it will take some time to accelerate back to normal. We should do all we can to prevent this temporary disruption to cause irreversible damage. There should be some leeway and relief on the obligations of those whose ability to earn is disrupted during these times. This will speed up our recovery socially and economically.
Our central bank and our government are thankfully aware that economic relief for those who are injured is a good thing and are acting towards that end. To what degree such relief will be offered and implemented is as yet uncertain. It is this uncertainty that influences our markets to continue to tremble in fear, and tumble.
While it is natural to have fear in uncertain times do not tumble like so many others. Take positive action to protect yourself and your community by adapting to this temporary challenge. And protect your future
Protect your goals and dreams by resisting any urge that you may have to escape the markets by selling out. While predicting the future is never certain, buying in times of crisis has proved to be the better move for the long run.
I am here to help you do the right thing for your long-term future. Remember, if the fear overwhelms you have an urge to act on it, call me first.
“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful”
Daniel Ruben,MD, MPH, MBA
The market indexes discussed are unmanaged and generally considered representative of their respective markets. Individuals cannot directly invest in unmanaged indexes. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost.