Statement from HFG Wealth Management
Over the past few weeks we have sent emails, hosted a webinar, and made phone calls to our clients to address the recent events. In this email to you, I want to share my personal thoughts.
Over the last several weeks, we have had an unprecedented shock to the world financial markets in the form of COVID-19. This prompted the fastest bear market ever, and global markets have since retreated to values that were last seen at the end of 2018. Oil prices have collapsed. Every day, the emotional roller coaster continues up and down in records of daily changes—very difficult for an investor to watch.
Locally, we have been asked to not dine in restaurants, nor go to our local watering holes, and church services have gone digital. Social distancing and self-quarantine have become the norm. Nationally, all sporting events have been canceled, travel is being discouraged, and conventions and conferences continue to be canceled as a precaution to contain the spread of the virus.
This has led to increased concern as the economic impact of COVID-19 has gone from a minor blip to questions about how much growth will decline and for how long. People are fearful that there is nothing that can be done to stop this. This is a health crisis, and only when we see a slowing in number of new cases as well as an increase in the number of people successfully recovering from the virus will the fear of the unknown subside. As Churchill said: “The only thing to fear, is fear itself” as well as "Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”
As a Christian, how do we conduct ourselves in a situation like this? I would suggest that first and foremost, we put our faith in God, and know that He has a purpose and a plan for everything. Second, focus on what God has allowed us to have control over, and know that God will take care of the rest. Here are a few ways that you can focus on what you can control:
We should not be known for fear and panic. Instead, we should be known for recognizing legitimate concerns and taking prudent steps to protect ourselves and mitigate the impact. Having trust in a sovereign God that promises to never leave or forsake us allows us the ability to not panic in these times. This is the time for us to strengthen our faith and provide evidence to others what our relationship with God is all about and that fear will not control us.
- Be Thankful. As Americans, we live in a country that affords us the opportunity to take precautions. It is unlikely that we will be without food, water, shelter or other basic necessities, as other countries could and will be around the world. Medical care is being made available to those in need, and technology allows many to adjust how and where we work.
- Help Others. With schools closing there is a real need to help children from families that rely on the school to feed them breakfast and lunch. We can work with a local church or school to help provide food, and even if we are quarantined, we can drop off these items. The elderly are also asked to stay at home, and they potentially have the same needs. Help those in your neighborhood or around the community that need food, medical supplies, or other things you can drop off or coordinate. The best investment you can make is an investment in others.
- Take Reasonable Precautions. Follow the protocols set by the government, such as social distancing, and don’t form groups of more than 10. Don’t hoard food, or other items. Love thy neighbor. Take reasonable precautions and use proper hygiene for you and your family.
- Be a Wise Steward. With the markets down right now and interest rates at all-time lows, it is a great time to be making wise decisions. These could be: adding cash to your portfolio, refinancing or buying a new house or land, making a large purchase (car, other items—they might be discounted and there might be no cost to finance them). We can all help our local and national economy improve more quickly if we engage and continue to make prudent decisions.
- Strengthen Local Communities. Support your local businesses. Pick up food at restaurants or have it delivered, or buy gift cards to use later. Purchase goods at local hardware stores, outdoor sporting stores, and the like. The likelihood that Amazon and the big box retail stores go out of business during this is unlikely, but local business will face significant hardship. Helping them will help reduce the impact of a recession due to the virus shutdown.
We don’t need fear and panicked reactions from anyone, especially the media—where bad news sells! We all have our opinions, but resist the temptation to argue about the cause, the government’s responses (financial or otherwise), or anything else. Be the helping, caring person in your community that is being proactive, helping others, and making good decisions.
At HFG, we live by this message, and we help others every day by ignoring the emotions of fear and greed to prudently manage your portfolios as we have for the last 35 years. Our tagline reiterates this: “Experienced Advice — Now More Than Ever™.”
We will all get through this together, stronger than ever before. I want to personally thank you for your continued trust and confidence in HFG and our team. If you would like to speak further or go into more detail, please reach out to us—we are here for you, your family, friends, and colleagues.
Larry A. Harvey
Founder & CEO
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