In the U.S., we are only a week or two past the peak in deaths attributable to the coronavirus. It is against this backdrop that governors are trying to make decisions on how to reopen state economies even as many states are still seeing increases in infections. Axios Though the projections are that the deaths will gradually drop during May and the following months IHME, it is a balancing act fraught with risks. WSJ So, we are now embarking on the next stage of this epic event where states are experimenting with opening businesses. Governing.com CNN Despite the different strategies, rules, etc., the states are all looking for the same thing – sustainable practices that will allow all businesses to resume without overwhelming the healthcare system. So far, investors have been optimistic in anticipation of businesses opening with markets gradually moving higher the last month, despite the loss of 20 million private-sector jobs in April. MarketWatch As mentioned in last week's email, the numbers to watch for the next couple of months are not economic, but the trending of new cases, deaths, and hospital's ICU capacity. If those numbers are stable and manageable, the opening of the economy will continue, leading to businesses starting to recover.
And now for some RSWA news! We are happy to announce that RSWA's own Tracey Daigle was featured in an article in Maine Biz and was also on the cover! The article highlights women who are leaders in Maine's wealth management industry and they rightly recognized Tracey for her leadership position. Congratulations Tracey! Maine Biz
- Warren Buffett Speaks to Investors: Berkshire Hathaway held their annual meeting this past week. Thousands of Berkshire investors usually descend on Omaha for the dubbed "Woodstock for Capitalists" gathering, but this year's meeting was held virtually. During the Great Recession crisis, Mr. Buffett was an optimistic and reassuring voice despite the calamity. That was on display this meeting as well, but he was also very cautious and quite happy to have a large cash reserve on hand. NYT
- The Fear Gauge Showing Less Fear: The Volatility Index, known by its symbol VIX, is commonly referred to as the "Fear Index." The index tracks the expectation of volatility in the stock market and in turbulent times it spikes. During "normal" markets the index usually has readings in the low teens. In mid-March, during the severe market turmoil, the VIX closed at a record high of 82.69. It has been trending down ever since and is now in the low 30s. So, despite the nice stock market rally of the last six weeks, investors still expect some volatility ahead though nothing like we saw in March. CNBC
- Tackling New Methods to Find Cures: The Milken Institute has been involved in trying to find a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus. As it has with other health challenges, the institute is trying to combine overlooked ideas paired up with venture capital entrepreneurship and philanthropy hoping to speed up solutions. The institute also has a handy tracking spreadsheet for trials involving potential treatments for Covid-19 and many other diseases. WSJ Milken Institute Faster Cures
- Your Quick Hit Articles for the Week:
- The National Institute of Health is copying a Shark Tank strategy using $500M to find virus testing strategies: NIH
- Is your WiFi slow? Maybe these tips will help: Wash Post Wash Post
- 25 of the best books for business: Worth
- There may be rare and valuable metals in your own home! BBC
- Want to learn a new language at your own pace for free? I'm brushing up on my French. J'ai beaucoup `a apprendre! Duolingo
- Road to a Vaccine: A client brought to our attention a great series tutorial on the complexities of creating a vaccine. The eight-part series is by JNJ and gives insights into the step by step process of a finding a cure. JNJ
- Are People Ignoring Their Health? One health insurance giant believes that people are ignoring their general health and long-term health issues. People are seeing doctors less frequently, starting fewer treatments, and fulfilling fewer new prescriptions. The concern is if health issues are ignored too long, it will lead to more acute and costlier treatments down the road. WSJ
- How the Restaurant Business May Change: One of the hardest-hit areas of the economy has been restaurants. The last couple of decades has seen an explosion in the dining experience including farm to table, experimentation, and culinary creativity. But how will restaurants survive economically and how will they adapt as economies reopen? A couple of articles highlight some ideas and how one restauranter is pivoting in order to stay afloat. Worth WSJ
Thank you for reading The Friday Buzz. Please forward to anyone who may enjoy the articles. Have a nice weekend. Be well and stay safe!