Coronavirus & Your Money


Coronavirus & Your Money


First off, there have been weeks of headlines about the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, markets have been caught in a volatile pattern of surges and retreats. Here’s what you should know:

Why are markets so volatile?

Obviously, disease outbreaks are hard to predict and come with a great deal of uncertainty that can make investors nervous. In addition, this is particularly true after a period of record market gains.

Furthermore, as the epidemic spreads beyond China, investors worry that it could cause serious disruptions to trade. Then, it would impact the interconnected global economy.

How long will the volatility last?

Well, it’s hard to say. Though the human cost of an outbreak like Coronavirus is tragic, it’s unclear how widespread the economic fallout will actually be. For instance, we can’t predict what markets will do. However, this isn’t the first time we’ve grappled with market reactions to an epidemic.

Here are some examples from previous outbreaks:

Chart source: CNBC, Yahoo Finance

Unfortunately, the past can’t always predict the future.  Although we were not prepared for a virus of this caliber, we can refer to historic data. First, markets reacted to epidemics with panic selling. But they recovered after the initial outbreak. This coronavirus should be no different.

However, epidemics don’t happen in isolation. Above all, underlying economic and market fundamentals will influence how investors react long-term.

Then, pullbacks and periods of volatility happen regularly, for many reasons.

Whether the cause is an epidemic, geopolitical crisis, natural disaster, or financial issue, markets often react negatively to bad news and then recover.

Sometimes, the push-and-pull can go on for weeks and months. This can be stressful, even when it’s a normal part of the market cycle.

Lastly, the best thing you can do is stick to your strategies and avoid emotional decision-making.


Emotional reactions don’t lead to smart investing decisions. In other words, the biggest mistake investors can make right now is to overreact instead of sticking to their strategies.

P.S. Reading too many headlines? Having trouble keeping calm?

Just give me a call at (651) 337-1919 and I’ll be happy to help.

Chart Source:

S&P 500 performance during outbreak:

S&P 500 performance six months after outbreak: Yahoo Finance. 6-month performance between open of first trading day of the month after end of outbreak to adjusted close of final trading day of the sixth month.

SARS: April 1, 2003 – Sept 30, 2003
MERS: Dec 3, 2012 – May 31, 2013
Ebola: March 3, 2014 – Aug 29, 2014
Zika: March 1, 2016 – Aug 31, 2016

Risk Disclosure: Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

This material is for information purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security. The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. No warranty, expressed or implied, is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. For illustrative use only.

Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500®) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Indexes are not available for direct investment. The performance of the index excludes any taxes, fees and expenses.

Federal Stimulus Check Article

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Take a Sabbatical – Life Lesson 48 of 50


Take a Sabbatical


Photo by Diego Jiminez

While attending Augsburg College in my youthful days, I noticed that many of my professors would occasionally take a sabbatical. This means taking a break from their usual academic pursuits. They worked on their books, furthered their research, or traveled the world.

What if you could get away from it all and clear your head, all while moving your career forward and gaining perspective on your future? Seem too good to be true? Well, I want to let you in on a little secret. You don’t have to be a professor to take a sabbatical.

The benefits of taking a sabbatical

We work so hard during our best years, hoping we’ll have the time, money, and energy to travel in our golden years. We sometimes forget to focus on ourselves in the here and now. Whatever your career or walk of life, there are very good reasons to take time off from your job and your daily life. You should do this before you retire, to focus on your own growth.

Make time for backburner projects

We all have “someday” projects in mind, things we tell ourselves we’ll do just as soon as we have the time for them. A sabbatical is the perfect way to carve out the time to jumpstart a new research project, make headway on a stalled-out manuscript, or conduct that research we keep putting off.

Refresh your goals

Sabbaticals are like supercharged vacations: they get you out of your day-to-day. They get you into a more relaxed state of being. This frees your subconscious mind to make deeper connections with your work and your purpose.

We all need time away. Making time to put everything on hold, slow down, and focus on yourself and your career will let you return with renewed purpose and motivation.

Gain a global perspective

While any time away offers important benefits, take the opportunity to travel overseas if at all possible. Prioritize this especially if you’ve never been outside the country before.

Traveling offers a rich opportunity to gain insight into other people’s lives. Interacting with people from other cultures and backgrounds is an incredible source of new experiences and new ideas.

Get out there!

A sabbatical has very real benefits for everyone, regardless of your business or walk of life. Over the course of your career, try to take a sabbatical or two to travel the world, write a book, or have new adventures.

If you have a strong financial foundation, this sort of travel is entirely within your reach. And if you don’t, now is the perfect time to start building one.

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Attitude Reflects Leadership – Life Lesson 47 of 50


Attitude Reflects Leadership


attitude reflects leadership

Have you seen the movie Remember the Titans? In one powerful interaction between a football player and his captain, this player sums up team leadership dynamics in just three simple words: “Attitude reflects leadership.”

If you’re not familiar with the movie, let me set the scene. The team captain is chastising one of his players—Big Ju—for his lack of team spirit. This captain just can’t understand why his player has such a poor attitude toward the rest of his teammates.

Big Ju’s terse retort doesn’t just explain how attitudes trickle down from the top; it’s a demonstration of the principle. He feels disrespected by his teammates and captain, so he lacks respect for them in turn.

This is no surprise to any of us; we all know that leadership is a top-down process, and the culture of every company starts with its leaders. But here’s something you may not realize: regardless of your position, your attitude and interactions with others have the power to impact those around you.

The Truth

Let’s face it: life can be challenging. Even when we tell ourselves to stay positive, a positive attitude isn’t always easy to maintain in the face of life’s greatest challenges. But you don’t have to be a CEO to cultivate an attitude of leadership, base your daily interactions on mutual respect, and start to change the culture for the better.

What’s the difference between a thermistor vs a thermostat? One indicates the temperature and one sets it. Which do you want to be?

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“Trust Me”: Don’t Trust It – Life Lesson 46 of 50


Don’t Trust People Who Say “Trust Me”


Photo by Joseph Chan

I’m not sure I can articulate this correctly, but whenever I hear someone say “trust me,” I immediately become skeptical. It’s like an immediate red flag in my head, and my knee-jerk response that comes to mind is, “Why should I?”

Don’t tell me to trust you—make me trust you. Show me through your words and actions that you’re a person of integrity. Until you demonstrate why I should give you my trust, I’m not going to take your word for it, so don’t even bother.

The word “trust” is so overused in today’s world that it has become almost meaningless. When every shady huckster you meet wants to fill your head with effusive guarantees for products and services of questionable quality, how can any of us hope to recognize when our trust is really deserved?

Food for Thought

You’ll rarely hear me say “trust me”—I won’t insult you like that. I know that trust is something I have to earn over time. You’ll either end up trusting me or you won’t, but you’ll do it for your own reasons, not because I told you to.

I encourage you to be introspective with this one. Catch yourself when you say it next, and follow it by asking what your true intentions are. It is perfectly okay to be skeptical of others who use words as comfort rather than take action. What can you do to prove that you are trustworthy? What can someone else do to prove it to you?

Next Life Lesson

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Do Business with Good People: Lesson 45 of 50


I’m Done Asking for Permission


We make choices every day: what to eat, what to wear, and who to spend our free time with. Shouldn’t we also choose to do business with good people whenever we can?

How to do business with good people

It can be a jungle out there, but in most cases, it doesn’t take long to figure out if someone has your best interest at heart or if they’re just trying to get what they can from you.

If you’re having difficult judging the character of a potential business acquaintance, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they helping you reach your goals, or are they only focused on their own bottom line?
  • Are they focused on helping others or only themselves?
  • Have they spent time understanding your goals or what you are trying to achieve?
  • Do you have a genuinely good impression of the person based on your interactions, or are there red flags you’re not addressing?

If you know it isn’t right, don’t make the deal—and if you’re regretting a previous partnership or agreement, look for opportunities to form more meaningful connections elsewhere, and move on when you can.

Good people do honest work for honest pay

Just because someone makes a commission or fee, that doesn’t mean they don’t have your best interest at heart. Anyone who provides a great service should expect to be paid for that service. I don’t operate my business for free, and I don’t expect anyone else to either.

When you do business with good people, you’re happy to pay for quality. You have a clear understanding of what to expect, when to expect it, and what to do if you’re unsatisfied. The sands won’t keep shifting under your feet. And while you don’t have to be best friends with everyone you conduct your business with, you should at the very least respect one another during all your interactions.

Let’s face it: life is just too short to deal with people with unsavory business practices or ulterior motives.

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Broke vs Poor – Life Lesson 44 of 50


Broke vs. Poor


broke vs. poor

So often we use the word “poor” to describe our financial state when what we really mean is “broke.” What’s wrong with that? Well, these term refer to two very different situations, and using broke vs poor interchangeably minimizes the very real experience shared by millions of Americans.

Being broke is a drag

Most individuals have experienced being broke at one time or another. I know I have. In my simple definition, “broke” means having a roof over your head, food in the fridge (even though you might think you never have anything good to eat in the house), clothes, shoes, and a car or bike—but your phone might be a few years old, and you make your own coffee before you head to work, and you probably aren’t taking lavish vacations.

Broke means not having enough money for the miscellaneous items we want in our life—the newest iPhone, expensive meals, or designer clothes—but, ultimately, getting by and hoping for brighter days.

Being poor is a crisis

On the other hand, poor means not having a roof over your head or knowing where your next meal is coming from. It means that a single surprise, accident, or medical issue would be catastrophic. It means hope is as hard to come by as a decent night’s sleep. Poor is a life-threatening condition that affects entire families across the country. I pray you and I never experience it.

We may not all have the newest car, shiniest toys, or top-of-the-line devices, but you know what? That’s OK. We can complain sometimes about not having the things we want, but we should be respectful of the difference between broke vs poor so we’re not silencing the struggles of so many Americans.


Do Business With Good People

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