Coronavirus Update: Health and the Economy

With large swaths of the United States under a shelter-in-place ordinance, I’d wager that many of us are getting much more familiar with our TV channel guides and digital video subscriptions.  After all, how else will we procrastinate and avoid completing the chores and projects that we finally have the time at home to do? Over the weekend – purely for research purposes, I assure you - I found myself hooked on the old classic adventure film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Near the end of the movie, Indiana (Harrison Ford) faces a series of lethal tests on his way to achieving his ultimate objective – retrieving the Holy Grail in order to save the life of his father.  Each individual challenge invoked important topics like humility, wisdom, belief and – much to the delight of my high school Latin teacher, I’m sure – knowledge of the Latin alphabet. As I watched Indy pass the first test, then another, I couldn’t help but think about the weeks ahead, and what challenges lay in store for both for the economy and for investors.  
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Coronavirus Update: The Problems at Hand Are Lighter Than at Heart

One of my all-time favorite music lyrics can be found in the 2001 release of the song ‘Fell in Love with a Girl’ by The White Stripes. In the song, Jack White sings about love-ridden angst while belting out one of my favorite lines - ‘these two sides of my brain need to have a meeting.’ It’s a simple line, but as I sit here working remotely and alone in my home office while being bombarded with COVID-19 information and market data from all sides, this lyric rings true. It’s during times like these when it’s imperative to find a balance between analytical thinking and emotion. We are all practicing social distancing at the moment, and this lack of social contact and normalcy can affect mindsets. Therefore, in an effort to remain grounded, I’ve been creating a simple daily habit of doing something that brings me joy. For me, that means cooking, reading, strumming my guitar, listening to music, and spending time with my wife and our young boy. In this spirit, I am organizing this communication around a lyric, song title, or album name of one of my favorite bands over the past 20 years – The White Stripes.  
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What to Know About the Coronavirus Pandemic

On March 11th, the COVID-19 coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.  As of this writing, there are 33 confirmed cases in Colorado, over 1200 in the United States, and nearly 130,000 cases worldwide.  Make no mistake, pandemics can be frightening, and they strike at the heart of basic human fears surrounding health and financial security.  I became intimately familiar with the last pandemic to reach the shores of the United States - the H1N1 swine flu of 2009. I had attended the wedding of a family member just outside of Winter Park, Colorado.  Of the 250 wedding attendees – nearly 130 (including myself and even the groom) contracted the swine flu, and many out-of-staters were forced to extend their trips as they shivered and ached in hotel rooms for days.  From April 12, 2009 through April 10, 2010, there were approximately 60.8 million cases of H1N1 in the United States, 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths.  
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Market & Economy Recap: February 2020

Nearly two decades ago, I worked as a branch manager of a large national bank during a time when a particularly virulent strain of avian flu emerged both overseas and, to a lesser extent, in the United States. As I counted the massive bank vault each morning, all I could do was envision all of the countless hands that each piece of currency passed through prior to landing in my fingers. As you might imagine, I went through a brief Howard Hughes phase and had empty two-liter sized bottles of hand sanitizer scattered throughout my office for weeks. However, what I remember most about this incident was the massive corporate initiative that began in an effort to educate bank employees on emergency procedures in the event that the avian flu brings the country to a grinding halt. It was alarming to hear words and phrases such as ‘bank runs’ and ‘looting’ discussed at the corporate level. Alas, time passed and scientists and doctors learned that the flu strain wasn’t going to be as widespread or damaging as initially feared, and life went back to normal.  
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Market & Economy Report: Q1 2020

As my wife and I hone-in on 10 years of marriage, I’ve come to learn that there are two things that a married couple will never, ever agree upon:   1)  The appropriate ambient temperature inside of their home. 2)  The proper way to load a dishwasher. Sidenote: my wife and I can’t even agree upon the proper terminology for this task, as she uses the word ‘stack’ while I use the correct term - ‘load’.  
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