Oh where to begin on this one? In our January update we talked about the end of the month impact on the financial markets from the Coronavirus. At that time we had some panic selling that turned the markets negative for the month and wiped out some nice gains. I was tempted to buy into the market, but ultimately decided to hold off which turned out to be a good decision.
Then came February and the panic took full hold with massive irrational moves to the downside. For me, it was time to move once we passed the 10% correction threshold. I half jokingly tweeted on Friday the 28th as the market closed that I thought we were near the bottom.
By this time I had already made my move.
This was a decision based on how the market was reacting at the time. Although they were still down on the day the Dow clawed its way back up from a 1000 point loss to close down 400 and the NASDAQ actually closed green by less than a point. It wasn’t about timing the market because as I have said before, that is a fool’s errand. The market was showing some level of buying support and that is something I look for in irrational times. It turned out to be a good move so far as the markets rallied on Monday and even with Tuesday’s Fed-induced pullback, they are still off their lows as I write this.
Now, I don’t write this to pat myself on the back. The markets could have, and still can, very easily collapse further. Because of this I also hedged by increasing a monthly contribution in case there is a need to average down. Either way we keep buying at reduced prices for the time being.
The point of this is that there is no reason to panic in uneasy times. It sucks to lose money, but there are long term benefits for those that can keep a level head and see the big picture. There are a ton of quotes from the Warren Buffett’s of the world that we could insert here, but I’m sure you already know them and they don’t need to be constantly repeated.
This is the beauty of having a long term investing outlook. Our timeframe is not today, tomorrow, next month, next year or even next decade. Our timeframe is forever. Again, insert Warren Buffet quote here.
So let’s see where all of this market madness dropped us off at the end of February:
Portfolio = $992,770
Portfolio Goal = $1,500,000
Amount needed to reach goal = $507,230
Our portfolio decreased by $52,319 or 5.01% from the end of January
Year-to-date our portfolio is down 5.33%
Net Worth = $1,203,920
This is a decrease of $50,557 or 4.03% from the end of January
Year-to-date our Net Worth is down 3.75%
As you can see we took quite a hit in February. It’s probably the worst we have had when it comes to dollars, but not on a percentage basis. This puts us back at September 2019 levels which in the big picture isn’t too bad considering the run we have been on.
If I have one small thing I was a little bummed about is was falling below the $1M portfolio threshold. But that quickly rebounded and hopefully it stays that way. I understand that this was more likely than not to happen eventually because we need market corrections for long term growth.
So where do we go from here? I stand by my statement that this virus, while bad, is not the real reason for the market sell off. It might be the catalyst, but it’s not the reason. The reason is that the markets were overheated and well overdue for a correction. The virus gave people looking for a reason to sell their opportunity to do so. Once that process started and fear set in, it snowballed with a little help from the folks in the media. You might disagree but that’s my opinion.
If you haven’t already please read the excellent write up from MMM for a very level headed assessment of the situation.
Going forward I expect this hysteria to wind down and for the markets to refocus on economic conditions and the upcoming election. There is no doubt that there will be some impact on corporate earnings and the economic indicators will also take a hit. However unless there is a sudden and dramatic increase in cases and deaths in the United States I believe this will only be a speed bump in the road for the economy as opposed the full blown recession some in the media are fearing. As I have said before, the November election poses a larger risk to the economy than the Coronavirus. Again, my opinion.
March brings the end of the 1st quarter which also means dividend payouts will start rolling in. I’m hoping some of the moves we made at the end of last year increases our dividend income. March will be our first chance to compare our new allocation against the same period last year. I’m not expecting a huge increase but I would like to see movement in the right direction.
We continue to inch towards the Summer months which is when the fun really begins. Stay tuned for that.
Have you ever tried timing selling everything you own, including your home, while trying to work, plan a three week road trip, assist a kid preparing to start college with trying to get scholarships all while also making accommodations so you have a future place to live? Yeah, it’s a-lot of fun.
Thank you for taking time to read our blog. We look forward to bringing you updates on our future adventures as they unfold. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be very busy.
Until next time…………………….