Making Sense of Surreal Times

Posted in , By David Robinson

The substantial stock market rally during the last week helped, but we are still coming off the worst quarter for the Dow ever. The global Covid-19 pandemic continues, and the US is now at the epicenter. Stock market investors, especially large institutional investors, are forward looking. Many may already be discounting 2020 earnings and economic growth as negative and trying to assess the outlook for 2021.

We counsel patience. Axios There must be a credible consensus on a rough timeline for Covid-19 to abate in the US and permit our economic (and social) lives to recover some sense of normalcy. CNN Then and only then might we see a sustained stock market rebound. Buoyed by the massive monetary and fiscal stimulus, some investors may jump in a little earlier in an effort to capture low prices, but we predict continued heavy volatility until there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. MarketWatch

One RSWA focus has and will be discerning the implications of the so-called CARES Act for our clients. An immediate question will be cash distributions to some individuals. Here is one summary. CNN The Treasury Department has already reversed itself on one decision, as social security recipients who do not file tax returns will be able to get their checks by direct deposit. Washington Post Here is another resource for the legislation’s impact on retirees. MarketWatch Much more to come on this topic.

One last thought. We have been impressed by the high quality of questions posed by several clients. Many recognize that this “black swan” event is a game-changer and are already asking what opportunities will lie ahead and where they will be. Others, while acknowledging the critical nature of short term massive fiscal and monetary support, are concerned about the implications for the dollar and our national debt. New York Times

Please read on for more of the following: Kindness-Also Contagious; The Science Behind Coffee; Babylon Berlin; Groundhog Day; A Quote I Like.

  • Kindness-Also Contagious: Speaking of contagion, social scientists know that kindness is literally contagious. HuffPost Being kind to others causes them to be kinder as well, creating a ripple effect. What if there were a way to start a kindness mass movement? Medium drdavidhamilton.com
  • The Science Behind Coffee: I know that not everyone is a coffee drinker-apologies. But I couldn’t help myself when I came across this in-depth treatise on the complex chemical interactions and health benefits that coffee brings us. Medium
  • Babylon Berlin: This television drama is set in the post WWI Weimar Republic era of Germany. It’s a creative but decadent time for the fragile German democracy, with several political movements having dramatically different visions for Germany’s future. Having majored in European history colors my judgment, but I believe it’s the best television drama I have ever watched. If you have already seen it, did you see any parallels to the current US historical era? Wikipedia
  • Groundhog Day: This 1993 film is another all-time favorite. Bill Murray plays a TV weatherman who gets caught in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. Visualizing some of the scenes still cracks me up. More seriously, isn’t there an eerily resemblance to Groundhog Day for many who are homebound and socially distanced? Wikipedia
  • A Quote I Like: “You need to remember your Buddha Nature and your social security number.” Jack Kornfield

Feel free to send us feedback on any topic or to make a request or to forward the notes on to anyone who might be interested.

david-robinson

About the Author David Robinson

A wealth advisor with more than 25 years of experience in the financial field, Dave serves as Robinson Smith Wealth Advisors’ Co-Chief Investment Officer and is a Co-Managing Member of the firm. As a Certified Financial Planner® and non-practicing attorney, he provides clients with deep expertise in areas including investment management and retirement planning.
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