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Coronavirus and bear markets

| March 13, 2020
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No doubt about it, these are serious times. The Covid 19 outbreak is now officially a pandemic. The steps we are taking both individually and collectively to protect our health and to slow the spread of the virus are causing great economic disruption and uncertainty. We’ve certainly seen that reflected in the stock markets these past few weeks. The US market has officially passed into bear market territory with a steep 20% drop in value. Stress and anxiety levels are high.

Now is the time to take a deep breath and remember that you have planned for this. You have an emergency fund set aside, paid down debt and set up your estate plans and insurance protection. You've invested your portfolio in an allocation tailored to your goals and to your ability to take risk. You will come through this tough time.

If you’ve procrastinated on any of these steps, now is a good time to take action!

The market outlook is uncertain right now. So, we can act by controlling what we can. Focus on your health and the safety of your family and neighbors. Follow the directions of health experts encouraging us all to practice social distancing. Here’s a great article from the NY Times explaining why that is so important. If you are able, reach out to elderly neighbors and offer to pick up groceries or medications for them so they can avoid crowds.

If you’ve had a disruption in your economic life or your goals have changed, now is the time to meet with a planner to adjust your course. If not, take a deep breath or two and remember that you will get through this.

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