I trust this letter finds you in good health and spirits. I am writing to provide you updates about our operations and the markets, as well as opportunities to consider in this environment.
Your financial team at Gavin & Associates is dedicated to providing you exceptional services and prudent guidance during all times, but especially when you need us most. Many conversations with clients are occurring in the evenings and weekends, and I encourage all clients to call me directly to discuss their financial plans and investment portfolios, especially if current events have caused unmanageable concern.
Our commitment to you is unwavering during events such as these. Our business is fully operational with Stacey and Nora working remotely and me managing a sanitized facility and learning how to do many tasks my team typically handles. This has been an exercise in preparedness and swift action and I am very proud of the focus and response of my/your team. If you get a chance, please offer them a word of encouragement as working from home during a very busy spell has some challenges.
I offer the following update/reminder since our last:
I have been investing personally for over 35 years. Never have I seen so many records broken in such a short period of time…..both on the downside and upside. Few markets have been immune from the excessive volatility, but not all of the news is bad.
As I write this, we just logged the strongest 3-day stock market advance since 1933. Stock investors finally received the relief rally they had been hoping for weeks. Attention in the short-term may shift to anticipation of the formation of a “double-bottom”, where stocks bounce off the bottom but retreat to retest prior lows. Time will tell if the recent lows late last week will be revisited or violated to the downside.
In many sectors of the bond market, performance has been nearly flat year to date, but volatility has been extraordinarily high. Many bond indices had advanced nearly double digits as investors flocked to safety, only to lose nearly all of the gains only days later. In fact, there was a day when an investor who bought a 10 year U.S. Government bond in the morning and sold the bond in the afternoon would have lost 6 years’ worth of interest in only 6 hours. Interest rate risk can be underappreciated and volatility in the bond market is largely underreported in the mainstream media.
Engage. Review communication from G&A and Raymond James, including our personal and independent updates and webinars from the professionals at Raymond James. Visit our Facebook page, our website at www.gavinandassociates.com or click on the links we recently emailed to access these factual and worthwhile sessions. We are receiving very positive feedback from those that have listened to the events and we expect to hold one every Monday for the foreseeable future.
Rebalance. Stay engaged in managing the risk and asset allocation (percentage in stocks/bonds/cash/etc.) of your investment portfolios. You may find your current allocation to stocks below your target, which could signal you to rebalance your portfolio and buy stocks. Evaluate your current and future liquidity needs before committing to any investment.
Save. Consider tax-loss selling in taxable accounts to create an offset for future tax liabilities. Significant tax savings opportunities may exist and we are skilled at executing this strategy in a cost-effective manner.
Pounce. Many investors are prioritizing Roth IRA conversions while account levels are lower in the hope that converting a lower IRA value into a Roth IRA will create a lower income tax bill and position future growth from tax deferred to tax free growth before the eventual rebound. Roth conversions are becoming more popular as a result of the new SECURE Act as well.
Support. Charitable Donor Advised Funds (DAF’s) are also very popular as a result of tax law changes. They also offer the opportunity to offset income taxes, dollar-for-dollar, created from IRA to Roth IRA conversions. DAF’s are most appropriate for the philanthropic-minded who also seek tax relief that is often a challenge with new standard deduction levels.
Check your gut. If the returns and volatility in your investments are causing physical and mental manifestations such as sleeplessness, irritability, stress, anxiety, etc., please do not hesitate to call me. Now is a good time to reevaluate your goals and objectives, liquidity needs, time horizon and other circumstances. Please communicate with me if anything has changed since we last spoke.
Refresh. Take time to refresh yourself so you can be there for others. Get outside, find a new hobby (news channels do not count), drop an unhealthy habit and pick up a new healthy one. Reach out to others, stay positive, laugh, be grateful for the sunrise, friends and family.
Adapt. I have enclosed several links at the end of this email that I hope will assist you in obtaining products and services during the shutdown. There are also a few tips for working from home, keeping kids sharp, and taking care of yourself.
Lastly, I want to share that we are not afraid of the future. We are a seasoned team and we understand the psychology of investors and recognize that the typical emotional cycle of …confidence…overexhuberance…surprise…panic…defeated…hopeful…confidence…is likely to repeat. We also recognize that losses hurt twice as much as gains feel good and it is important to keep emotional decisions in check.
We point out that insiders and institutions are adding to stocks at the same time many individual investors are panic-selling. We have seen this playbook before. The only difference is how the game is going to be played during this particular market cycle.
The bull market is officially over, derailed by two black swan events (virus/oil shock) that could not have been predicted. Fortunately, these adverse events occurred during solid economic expansion, from a position of strength rather than weakness. Fortunately, we were not in a recession like many pundits predicted over the last few years.
In light of recent events, a future recession may not be avoided, but we are confident that damage to the economy can be mitigated with smart and effective monetary policy, fiscal policy, and the kitchen sink the government is throwing at the problem.
As people eventually recover and reacclimate with their prior routines, sales will rebound, earnings will follow, and stocks will rise. The U.S. economy is much more resilient than the credit it receives and significant crisis in the past have always fueled periods of innovation and expansion. We believe this time will be no different.
We sincerely appreciate the trust you have placed with us and we look forward to many more years helping you achieve a life well planned.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or anyone on your financial team at G&A if there is anything we can do for you.
Michael T. Gavin, CFP®
Major Grocery Delivery and Pickup Services
Food Delivery Services
Tips for Working at Home
Ideas and Free Educational Materials for Kids at Home
Other Important Sites
Gavin & Associates is committed to maintaining a secure and safe environment for all of our clients and employees. We are monitoring all guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our focus is first and foremost on the safety of everyone with which we interact. Consistent with our conservative values, we recognize that the way we provide our services may change in the future temporarily or otherwise, and we want to share our recently implemented business continuity plan with you.
Our goal is to continue to provide and deliver the highest standards of service you have come to expect, while minimizing interruption to operations. You should know:
We are grateful to be associated with Raymond James at times like these. The capabilities of this world-class firm continue to impress. The solid business continuity plan for Raymond James, including redundant operations, security, crisis management and geographical dispersion, is a credit to their foresight and leadership. We could not be more pleased with our association. You can find information about the operating status of Raymond James at www.raymondjames.com
We at G&A have heavy hearts for those affected directly and indirectly with this outbreak. We encourage everyone to watch out for each other, follow proper prevention tips, and turn off the news every once in a while. I set my car radio to the family comedy Laugh USA (CH 98) on SiriusXM. It is amazing how just a few minutes of laughter can lift your spirits.
We truly appreciate the trust and confidence you have placed in us over the years and we look forward to serving your needs for many more. We will continue to utilize professional guidance and keep you informed of major developments.
If there is anything you would like to discuss with regard to our continuity plan or your financial plan, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you and stay healthy,
Your financial team at G&A