We hope this letter finds you and your family well while we all cope with the ongoing and dynamic situation we are in. We wanted to provide an update on the measures we have put into place to protect our employees, clients and their families.
Thankfully, we have no cases of the COVID-19 virus or concerns we have come into contact with an infected person. We have however made the decision to implement a work-from-home policy. This is our responsibility as employers and citizens. I have personally just returned from an overseas vacation, and will be self-quarantined, as per the advice of our health professionals.
We are well prepared for this scenario and have an efficient business continuity model in place for these unpredictable scenarios. It will be business as usual and will not affect our ability to service our valued clients.
We are taking steps to avoid any possible exposure to the virus while also trying to maintain our personal lives and consumer behaviours as much as possible. This is of utmost importance as the societal impact from economic hardship will also felt.
The team and I are always available should you have and questions or concerns. Thank you for the trust you’ve placed in us. It is in times like this we value it most.
I have watched and listened to the news unfold about the coronavirus since December 2019 when it took hold in China. The growth of the virus and the sheer panic has been exponential over the last three weeks.
I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with some clarity and I hope comfort.
The Corona Virus and its unknowable outcome have rattled the markets and we have seen volatility pike to the highest level since the Global Financial Crisis. Coming into this period of volatility we were happy with the positioning of our clients’ portfolios and we continue to be. We together put a plan in place that met with your long-term goals.
What markets dislike more than bad news is ambiguity and uncertainty. What we have been seeing since the beginning of the year is the market’s increasing sense of uncertainty of how much longer this pandemic period will continue. With the vast amount of new and/or contradictory information (both from the media and world leaders) some days the market has moved up sharply only to be followed by sharp declines. In the first 72 days of 2020, portfolios have fluctuated from -11% to -27% depending on the allocation between equities and bonds.
Many of you have asked - what are we doing? We have found that in periods like this it can be counterproductive to overreact in the eye of the storm. That being said, we have taken actions to make sure we are well positioned to deal with the downside volatility and do well when this crisis subsides.
Actions I / we have taken:
Reviewed each portfolio for rebalancing opportunities to capitalize on this market volatility for you. Maintaining our discipline, our focus and having consistent conversations with all our investment managers and strategic associates.
We are maintaining a high level of knowledge and perspective on the current complexities and the financial impact to you. I have said many times in client meetings, market volatility is never pleasurable, it is however expected. There is no doubt this is an uncertain, serious and challenging period which we should not take lightly and yet not panic. Markets may fluctuate lower before they increase again. It is just as important to keep in perspective that this is also a temporary crisis, which will pass, just like all the other turmoil I have experienced during my 25 years. If there is anything history has taught us, is that this too will pass. Calm will return, markets will improve, and your discipline will be rewarded.
We thank you all for your patience and your continued trust in us.