Extra Reading: Falling Stocks and Social Distancing

This has been an unprecedented week, both in terms of market volatility and the uncertainty and fear resulting from COVID-19 which are touching all aspects of our lives.

Trips, concerts and other prepaid events have been cancelled or rescheduled.  Many workplaces have cut staff or have them work from home. Store shelves are quickly emptying.  Despicable people are taking advantage by stockpiling necessities and trying to sell them at inflated prices.

What are you doing differently because of the Coronavirus?  I’m consciously choosing reliable sources of information and trying to avoid the fear-mongering rampant on social media.

Falling global stock market

A sudden stock market crash is quite unnerving (even though I’ve lived through several).  One thing we know – financial markets do recover, and stocks remain a good long-term investment.

I’m continuing with my bucket strategy and using my cash reserve to cover living expenses just as before.  I have never agreed that I was leaving money on the table by not being fully invested. Nor do I accept withdrawing less from my portfolio when the markets are down as in the total return strategy.  That’s not only psychologically difficult, but I don’t have a pension, so I need my cash to pay regular expenses which don’t go down.

I’m happy to focus on the consistent flow of stable dividends and the income generating power of my portfolio rather than the volatility of its market value.  Plus, it’s a good time to buy if funds are available.

Here’s what’s others have been writing lately.

Your wealth

How is your portfolio holding up? The Bank of Canada announced the second .5% rate cut in a little over a week.  Here’s how the coronavirus is affecting your savings and portfolio.

Consider this action plan as we may be heading into a recession.

This might be a good time to check to see if the CRA is holding on to any uncashed cheques you might be entitled to.

Retirement living

Health and government officials announced all non-essential travel should be postponed and air travel will be restricted to certain airports.  Here’s a list of cancellation policies of airlines and hotel chains.

And, since we’re stuck at home anyway why not get started on spring cleaning?

Preparing for retirement

What’s your retirement vision?

With an increasing number of areas on lockdown, social distancing is a must.  Unfortunately, it comes with a side effect – loneliness for older seniors who already are at a risk of isolation.  Here’s how to stay connected.

Successfully transitioning into retirement means having a set of meaningful relationships apart from the workplace.

Your health

Do you still feel young and healthy?  This is not the time to take risks with your health.  You need to take the coronavirus seriously.

Here what to do if you think you have symptoms.  Stop the spread of germs.

There’s no need to stockpile.  Just have these supplies on hand if you have to stay in your home for a couple of weeks.

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4 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Thanks for your perspective on these very interesting and difficult times for all…
    Everyone’s situation is different and folks need to educate and understand for themselves best moves…simply cutting back and conserving cash is the option we have chosen to date…
    “Non-essential” travel for us means staying put on a sparsely populated gated community in South Carolina rather than venturing out for a two day road trip just to get home and be stuck inside for 15 days…we practice social distancing and wash hands frequently….
    Finally keeping calm and not getting caught up unnecessarily in ALL the media hype is our personal motto for the time being….
    Markets will recover and dvds of major blue chips should be safe…if they cut site will signal scarier times ahead…
    Be safe and calm…

    • Marie Engen says:

      Hi Peter. These are uncertain times to be sure, but we can’t go into panic mode and make short-sighted decisions. Social isolating may be necessary, but it doesn’t mean turning into a couch potato. Use your time wisely – maybe learn something new.

      Stay safe.

  2. Craig James says:

    My wife and I are both retired 3 years now. We sacrificed to dave so that we would have good incomes throughout retirement. Now we can spend that money. The CO-VID 19 pandemic has cancelled travel and closed restaurants and retail outlets where we would be spenders.
    Retirees and seniors in a similar situation need to plan to be prepared to jump start the economy when the recovery starts. This will save small business … the largest employer in Canada. Our Spending stimulates the economy.

    • Marie Engen says:

      Hi Craig. I think that’s an excellent point of view. The real test of the economy will be after the pandemic ends. We’ll need to do our part more than ever.
      I appreciate your thoughts.

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