Amidst the non-prejudicial crucifixion of our markets from the beloved Covid-19 last week, we are all watching helplessly as many of our investment portfolios simply asphyxiate like many suffering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Call it an Act of God, the drowning process has just begun and many a lifetime of savings are presently under water; some will survive, some will not. Trusted sources in our sector reassure me that we will recover for selected stocks equally as fast as we went down — the themes are the same, isolate, utilize creativity and be brave.
Flashback to the lessons from history, let’s review the Spanish Flu and rewind to 1918: “The Spanish flu infected 500 million people around the world, or about 27% of the then world population of between 1.8 and 1.9 billion, including people on isolated Pacific islands and in the Arctic. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.”
Ugh, I read on…
The duplication of plot-lines between the past and present seemingly ensues, Wikipedia states: “To maintain morale, wartime censors minimized early reports of illness and mortality in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Papers were free to report the epidemic’s effects in neutral Spain (such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII). These stories created a false impression of Spain as especially hard hit, giving rise to the pandemic’s nickname, Spanish flu.”
Seemingly similar to today, every other CNN story is about how Italy is probably not the place to live — more local coverage is needed.
While social media has liberated some of us from being the media’s pawn, I would like to add that the Spanish Flu in retrospect was just like Covid-19 in that “…analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains.”
Flash forward to today, however, Covid-19 is more aggressive and is killing more than the flu, we have an unprecedented #StaytheFuckHome social media movement…and like any great moment in any great film, last week’s market crash was both fast and furious. The soundtrack was the same everywhere with “I could have/should have/would have sold the week before…if only I saw this coming.”
Remembering an award-winning analyst years ago who propagated fame for a report titled “What if I am wrong?” – this resonates with me. Why? Because I am going to take a run at discussing how I am going to manage my own finances while the Covid-19 Tango warms up for some serious cha-cha’s on our bottom lines. A brutal dance for most of us to finesse at the best of time, going to do it with my own soundtrack selection with Tracy’s Top-5 hits to listen to in the background while sharing my truths…
#5. Let it Breathe, by Water Liars. I used to reassure my teenagers years ago that “I don’t know” was a real answer when they would look alarmed by not knowing how to answer the usual question from returning from a friend’s home with “were you smoking?” It was painful for me to watch them attempt to lie; with time they would understand that by answering with “I don’t know” they were in fact — buying time. Today, with many readers and associates sending me all kinds of notes, endless toilet paper jokes and providing all kinds of advice on how to manage the carnage, when asked, my answer is the same: “I just don’t know”. Not only is the intent to buy time but I am hoping that its just somehow, going to get better as I cling to the news announcement that China is opening Apple stores again on Friday. So, while staying optimistic, one thing I have learned from previous market ‘corrections’ is that when billionaires resign from boards to rededicate their lives to philanthropy, it’s usually not a good sign for any of us…
#4. Elderly woman behind the counter in a small town, by Pearl Jam. Perhaps one of the most significant positives from the Covid-19 is a reminder that we have not prioritized our elderly in our society. We need to examine the knowledge, leadership and value of wisdom our elderly, but more importantly we need to review their care. At InvestorIntel we have been championing Nova Leap Health Corp. (TSXV: NLH) ever since we discovered these rising stars in our market existed. Nova Leap Health, whose CEO has been actively campaigning for the care for seniors at home is overdue a round of applause. Unquestionably companies like Nova Leap deserve greater support from us as investors, I personally plan on seeing what other gems that presently exist in the market for elderly care for the inevitable turnaround of the market. This is important, thank you Covid-19 for making all of us prioritize our health and the care of our family members.
#3. I will return, by Skylar Grey. My parents who live on a 28-acre mountain in Tennessee, already in self isolation as a matter of life choice with at least 2 industrial strength freezers fully packed and a solar powered generator prior to the pandemic, called me on Friday evening to check in. “It will return” my mother reassures me with regards to the market, adding “this too will pass” with the comfort that only a mother can bring. My response was that I was reviewing Google News regularly for updates on a vaccine and was delighted that “a Canadian company says it has made a breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, claiming to have developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that could begin human testing as early as this summer.” (click here) Equally as delightful I shared was the story on how U of T and McMaster researchers at Sunnybrook Hospital isolate virus behind COVID-19, indeed the frontline warriors in this battle, are our medical scientists. So just as we see an ambush of market negativity, there is at the same time (as always) a ray of sunshine!
#2. Should I Stay or Should I go Now, by The Clash. A classic in any life adventure, has there ever been a time where one has not asked oneself if they may have simply been better by leaving earlier? Well for those of us who were not fully vested in cash as the market plummeted, we now must ask ourselves what do we do today? Today, I am holding. Perhaps I am lying to myself, but I do respect my intuition and over this last week of restless sleeps, I have concluded that the market ‘may’ recover faster than anyone anticipates — again, historically speaking, the market always does. Crazier perhaps to some, I plan on reviewing what companies have been needlessly mired with the belief that they will lead us out of this chaos…example, utilities/energy are being hit with no rhyme or reason, critical materials’ demand will be at an all time high during recovery and biotech, well — this one has my attention as biotech could save us all.
#1. TIE: Don’t Look Back in Anger, by Oasis and Long Train Running’ by the Doobie Brothers. Nowhere to go from here, I cancelled all my meetings this week and the Technology Metals Summit for May 14th at the Omni King Edward. Now with our final music selection I wrestled with selecting the top track for “Tracy’s Coronavirus Mix”, it was neck and neck with Oasis and the Doobie Brothers. This morning…it feels like the Doobie Brothers had it right with a Long Train Running’: “Life keeps moving and doesn’t stop- like a train won’t stop easily with all its momentum and weight. They’re going to go with or without you.” So, this Covid-19 is indeed like a train once it starts…it just keeps on moving. And our dear friend from Oasis, called it right perhaps as I enter my own period of self isolation, maybe its past due for all of us to “Slip inside the eye of your mind, Don’t you know you might find — a better place to play…” Perhaps its time for some introspection, and who knows what we may find?
Here’s to everyone’s health as we fight this all together.
Special thanks to our biotech industry as they lead the fight to find a cure for all of us.