By:  Matthew Theal, CFP® & Joshua Winterswyk, CFP® 

During these fearful times, we will be starting a new series publishing every Friday afternoon recapping what we are reading and the content we have produced. We hope you enjoy! 

It was another wild week for the global financial markets and the world. What we have witnessed over the last six weeks is unprecedented and hasn’t been seen since the Spanish flu of 1918. We will tell stories of how we lived through COVID-19.

The state of New York and the state of California are both on mandatory lockdown. While writing this, the United Kingdom announced a national lockdown. We wouldn’t be shocked if this happened in the United States this weekend or earlier next week.

We expect the news to continue to be gloomy. COVID-19 cases will rise, as will deaths, the amount of unemployed will jump to 15% or more (I’ve seen estimates for 25%) and many small businesses could fail. We will see the fastest GDP contraction on record. We’ve already lived through the fastest stock market drop on record.

That said, now is the time to be an optimist. Our largest metropolitan centers are practicing social distancing and there’s been positive news on the drug front with Remdesivir and Chloroquine. Production of hospital supplies is being ramped up in factories just like the production of missiles and tanks during World War II. Optimistic economists are predicting the economy will start back up in early May.

Below is our best of the week.


Best From the Web

How It All Started: China’s Early Coronavirus Missteps – Wall Street Journal 

This is a great look at how the COVID-19 got started in China. Researchers have traced the outbreak to October or November 2019. The Chinese government acted slow and then tried to cover up the disease. Once we have defeated this virus, one must ask, will China be held accountable?

The Deadliest Virus Ever Known – The New Yorker

This is an old piece written by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s an in-depth look at the Spanish Flu, how it spread. One thing to note is there were two waves of the deadly flu, the first wave during the early spring and the second wave in the fall. Lots of experts are predicting we will see the same pattern with COVID-19.

We Live in Zoom Now – The New York Times

Zoom is a videoconferencing company that is free to use. According to this article, 600,000 people downloaded the app last Sunday. We have been using Zoom this week at RPA to hold client review meetings and conduct our internal meetings. Tonight, my friends and I will be using Zoom to hold a happy hour and tomorrow my wife and I will be checking in with our families via Zoom.

World’s Richest Spend $1 Billion on “Bargains of a Lifetime” – Bloomberg 

Once again, America’s billionaires are rushing to the stock market to pick up great companies that are selling for a discount. I’ve never quite understood why people think they are supposed to sell stocks when they are going down. It makes zero sense. When Amazon has a sale, people flock to their website and buy products they don’t even need.

Photos Show How Deserted the US Has Become – Business Insider

This is an eerie slide slow from Business Insider showing how slow the U.S. is right now. I live in Los Angeles and can confirm its a ghost town.

What We Created

What to Do When the Stock Market is Falling – YouTube

Quarantined? Use This Time to Optimize Your Personal Finances – Blog

What to Consider Before You Refinance Your Mortgage – Blog 

How RPA Gave Back

This week we sent food to the brave nurses and ER doctors fighting on the front lines.

Image of the Week 

Please stay inside and practice social distancing. RPA is very connected to the healthcare community through our clients, parents, and spouses. COVID-19 is not a joke or a government conspiracy. Please be safe, sit on your couch and binge-watch Netflix!