Coronavirus and Groundhog Day

I thought I would write about this last week, for Groundhog's Day, but God had other plans for our family and so this is a week late but still relevant. As of the time of writing, the Coronavirus is still on the uptrend and the cure has not been found. The number of folks who have died from this virus exceeds other quickly-spreading epidemics...but is far less than die from the common flu, every year. It is sad, but perhaps a little less so when we put it into perspective.

From the point of view of this Periscope, the Coronavirus outbreak is a blip on the radar screen of our investment time horizon. And it may, in fact, present some of our managers an opportunity to buy good companies at lower prices. The fear is palpable and the volatility has increased in 2020. You'll note the word volatility does not mean "downward." Prices, again, are largely setting new highs. We are volatile to the upside, recently, as well as downside.

It's a good time to tune it all out. But, before I do, I want to show the data in some detail below. Notice this nice list of scary epidemics and the resulting short-term affects on the S&P 500 equities market, as measured by the S&P 500 index. (1)

My take on Coronavirus-like outbreaks in the past is either "meh" or it is "wow!” But it’s not, “sell now!”

New Chart 2

The future for Coronavirus is as unknown as anything. However, my prediction is that it is likely to be similar to the outbreaks in the past. I don’t know how we will solve it—either in China or in any other country—nor do I know when we will solve it. I rest confidently knowing that we will, because we always have before.

It’s a little like a deadly serious Groundhog Day movie. In that movie, Bill Murray awakes to the same day, every day. He sees the same thing repeating over and over again. I found the Super Bowl advertisement humorous, and I hope you end this brief hiatus from your everyday life with a little chuckle as well.




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