The Stock Market during Covid 19

I am burnt out on you know what.  I will try to keep it just to some fun facts in “Craig’s Covid Corner” because this too shall pass. Maybe not next month or even next year.  Once I start giving predictions we all lose.  There are plenty of predictions out there. Anything that involves you getting out of stocks for some whiz bang product that “keeps you safe” will end badly. If you like predictions, go back on Google a few years for predictions then and see how they worked out.  Of course, someone will be right, as fortune tellers are sometimes right, but not due to any power of prediction.  A stopped clock is right twice a day.

I have not weighed in because I don’t want to sound like I can predict.  Predicting is dangerous.

You may say, but I am too old to invest!! Unless you have no family and no causes to support you are not too old.  Your investments will help those people, maybe beyond what you can imagine.

Stocks are like your kids.  You worry about them, but they will find their way, as will the amazing businesses you own.

This blog and the book can be summed up best by this one sentence “investors don’t have investment problems; investments have people problems.” It is controlling our thoughts and emotions that determines success. Remember, financial media is not information.  It is entertainment. So, I would avoid it like the plague.  If you turn on CNBC or are bouncing around the internet trying to depress yourself, please, please, be safe!  Put on a mask and rubber gloves and stand at least 6 feet from the screen.

My favorite example of what not to read was The Great Depression of 1988-Ravi Batra.  It sold more copies than any book on economics at the time.  This NYT bestseller (#1 at 1.2 million copies) is one of the books the panicked may have chosen in 1982 right before one of the greatest booms in history.

When you are fearful or excited, you will find what you are looking for.  It is called confirmation bias. This is always dangerous, as is looking for a consensus. In fact, the more fearful the stories, the better the market performs.  This is called the Bull/Bear index.  The more Bulls the more likely a slow market.  More Bears it is likely strong. We can find ourselves ignoring that our whole life and a hundred years before, the market constantly marched up. You have to constantly ask: Is this “information” really something I should base my family’s wealth on? 

Rely on what you know for sure: Equity outperforms debt. Earnings grow.  Equity (companies and real estate) become more valuable.  But that is only for the patient.  This time is not different.  So, my advice is the same as it was last year: hold great companies and funds and let them grow. 

“Short-term market forecasts are poison and should be kept locked up in a safe place, away from children and also from grown-ups who behave in the market like children.”  Warren Buffett

Craig’s Covid Corner

I was at Walmart a few days ago. It looked like a military installation out front.  Several rent-a-cops with Lysol in their holsters.  All employees masked up.  I went to grab a cart and I guess I got too close to a lady, and she did that Barney Fife nervous jump to the side and ooh the look she gave me. 5 weeks ago, when it was riskier, there was nothing.  Humans!

As I look at the stats, I think total numbers of deaths and cases are kind of meaningless.  You may look at Wyoming and think they are fine for having so few cases, but of course they have little population.  Worldometer report deaths per million and cases per million which is helpful. 

What are the worst states when adjusted for population?

For cases per million: Number one is… (I’ll give you three guesses)

  1. New York             16,509                             
  2. New Jersey          14,348
  3. Massachusetts       9,969
  4. Rhode Island        8,969
  5. Connecticut          8,177

For deaths per million:

  1. New York             1268
  2. New Jersey            892
  3. Connecticut            697
  4. Massachusetts       586
  5. Louisiana               443

Lowest cases per million:

  1. Hawaii                     436
  2. Montana                  437
  3. Alaska                     498
  4. West Virginia        653
  5. Oregon                    657

Lowest deaths per million:

  1. Hawaii                    12
  2. Alaska                    12
  3. Wyoming               12
  4. Montana                15
  5. Utah                        16

Why aren’t states with near 0 risk back to work? Can you tell me what the worst states have in Common?  Not high population, Texas is doing very well with 2 of the biggest cities in the US, Houston and Dallas.  1147 per million cases and 32 deaths.  Arizona has the 5th biggest city and has 1244 and 52 (cases, death) Idaho,1221 and 38. All info from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

See you soon,

Craig – Answer the question above and win a free sucker!

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