Important Information For Our Clients Regarding Coronavirus – March 6, 2020

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The news about the spreading Coronavirus has indeed been scary and unsettling over the last two weeks or so. As a result, the markets have reacted with vigor, with large days swinging in either direction.

We have reached out to many of you, but our thoughts continue to evolve as we discover (and digest) new facts. Here are our brief thoughts to the questions that are on all of our minds.

When will the volatility end? The volatility will continue until we have some path forward. In short, as long as there are newly discovered cases and lots of headlines, then you can count on continued volatility responding to the good days and also on the bad days.

Could this get worse? Of course it can get worse. We are preparing for a potential 20% total decline in the broad equity markets. As of this writing, we are about halfway there. It can get worse, depending on how long this negative news continues and when we learn of the path forward.

What about my portfolio? What is TFG doing about this? Rest assured that we are doing everything that we can do. We are monitoring the news from several outlets, talking with health experts and scientists, and thinking about it night and day. Remember that many portfolios were already conservatively positioned coming into this crisis, so many of you were already a little ahead of the game, so to speak. We believe in diversified portfolios, and that has helped portfolio returns. We have also made trades in many portfolios, selling high yield and raising cash a little bit. And finally, remember that whatever returns you see on the news does not precisely address your personal portfolio, because you likely have other holdings, such as bonds, municipals, hedged equity, etc. If you have questions about your actual returns, it is better to check online (not too often!) or contact us.

What else should I know? Remember that most of you have very thoughtful financial plans that are put together by us. Those plans stress tested your portfolio for events just like this. We anticipate that markets will go up and down. That is part of the deal, which is why you earn an “equity risk premium.” Always think about your financial plan as that is your road map and your path to success. And remember that we anticipated that the market would go down. We just didn’t know when.

What is next? Once we believe that the situation is somewhat stabilized, we have some ideas as to where to go bargain hunting. But, we are sitting tight for a while until we see a clearer path forward.

As always, thanks for your continued support. We feel privileged to serve you. And contact us with any questions.

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