We were hopeful that today was going to be the day that we would experience two consecutive up days in the past six weeks. Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be. As you are well aware, there is an unprecedented level of uncertainty, and if the market hates anything, it is uncertainty. The spread of the virus has expanded faster and further than many anticipated. Governors are taking action with speed that was unheard of just a month ago. We continue to monitor the situation as it quickly develops.
In case you missed it, Marc sent out an email yesterday that detailed all the steps Harvest Financial Advisors is taking in these difficult times. Among the several takeaways is that the firm has invested considerably in technology over the past few years allowing us to continue to serve you remotely. If you haven’t yet opened Marc’s email, I’d encourage you to read it to learn about all the ways we’re working to ensure our availability and ways we may be reaching out to you.
As for the news this week, it remains much the same. I’ve stopped taking notes because it boils down to one and only one thing. While initially the concerns surrounded the spread of the coronavirus, it has since expanded to include the economic fallout that is sure to follow. In that light, we have made and will continue to make changes to your holdings that both raise the level of safety and position you for the eventual return to normalcy.
The markets have been functioning remarkably well given the increased volatility and volume of trading. We have not experienced any issues to date with our custodians or our ability to trade your accounts. This is not like the financial crisis in 2008-09 where we had banks facing a liquidity crisis. The Federal Reserve has ensured we avoid that situation with over $1.5 trillion in funds available to the financial sector. Additionally, Congress is working on a fiscal stimulus package that could be greater than the one put forward in 2009. While it may have taken more time than we would have preferred, it now appears our federal and state governments are all working from the same script and moving in the right direction.
I don’t have much more to add this week other than to say take precautions, stay home if at all possible, wash your hands often, and reach out to your loved ones, extended family, friends, and neighbors to ensure everyone is ok. We all need to come together in this difficult time.
Bruce J. Mason, MBA