Yes. Its already 10 weeks into 2020…
Times Of Turbulence
I’m probably the least religious person that you’ve ever (or will) encountered, but prayers were necessary. This past week certainly felt like a month. We’re witnessing a historical moment brought to you by the financial market, courtesy of COVID-19. In the past four weeks, the U.S. stock market dropped more than 25% before consolidating at negative ~20% as we enter the weekend. Wiping out all of its $11.5 trillion value gained ever since Trump won his election in 2016.
Trump addressed the American people about COVID-19 in March 11, and he made sure to slip in a comment stating that the current situation is “not a financial crisis”. Granted, it is true that we are not in a recession (yet, perhaps) — but COVID-19’s impact towards the global economy is only at its starting point. Numerous sectors from the obvious ones such as tourism and retail to gig-economy and banking will be affected simply because of the decrease in productivity that the world will experience in the upcoming months. Spending and consumption will slow down because the majority of people are going to practice social distancing. The whole story seems to be getting worse. By Friday, March 13, LinkedIn news feed has published a topic titled “Layoffs start appearing”, indicating that we’re truly entering into an economic slump after more than 10 years of growth.
Many people will lose money. Older people’s pensions and livelihoods will be greatly impacted. Younger people might not be able to land a good job. On the bright side, for those that are still in our twenties, the current market retracement provided us with the opportunity to garner assets at a cheaper rate and capitalize on the whole incident which tend to only happen once every decade. Personally, this is my first time truly experiencing the practicality behind the following statement — and as expected, it is mentally way more difficult to execute than one might think.
“”— BARON ROTHSCHILD
Its Corona Time~~!!
Yes. You saw that right. A song about the coronavirus is now a viral TikTok meme — what a world we live in!
The spread of COVID-19 has gotten worse in western countries. In the U.S. alone, the number of cases are now soaring past 2,000. Conferences are cancelled, schools are shut down, and cities are taking massive precautions. “Abundance of caution”, they said. I figured that rather than outlining the already negative tone we had this week, why don’t we pay attention to the couple of things that might emerge positively after we go through COVID-19.
The culture of work and education are going to change. In 2020, there are so many different avenues in which one can learn marketable skills that do not fit the conventional teaching method of universities. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my undergraduate year, but I do think that the social skills, network, and friendships that you develop outweigh the practical education that you receive in college. Besides, I have figured out that the willingness to learn needs to come from within (there’s only so much that one’s environment can do to help). Podcasts, online courses, coding boot camps, income-share agreement; new and innovative forms of online educations are popping every single day, disrupting the traditional incumbent.
People will become more familiar with the concept of online collaboration, both in work and school settings. COVID-19 might set globalization back for a couple of years, but there’s no doubt that our world are going global and online. People can save time, become more productive, and complete more activities when online collaboration is used with proper accountability.
Zoom is one of the very few stocks that outperformed the entire market in the past couple of weeks.
Other positive thing that can come out of this “social distancing” period is to remember our priorities. Humans, after all, are vulnerable. We hustled and spent hours focusing on our careers but often forgot how quick the world might turn against us. Taking care of our health and being more appreciative of our relationships are always good reminders. Go read those books that you’ve been meaning to, listen to that podcasts that you’ve been downloading, and call your families when you have the time.
Stay safe and see you next week.
P.S. In San Diego, I can still find free Purell on the back seat of an Uber that I took earlier yesterday.