The Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic has seen 25% of the value of the S&P 500 wiped out in the last 30 days. People are in quarantine, people are losing their jobs and people are dying. We are living in unprecedented times and many are anxious for what the future holds.
If, like me, you are young, without health issues, and in a stable job that allows you to work from home then you are privileged. It goes without saying that the privileged amongst us must do what they can to support those who are vulnerable. Beyond this, putting social and health issues to one side for just a moment, it is permissible to consider whether there is any silver lining to the current situation. Indeed, as distasteful as it may sound, those belonging to Generation Y or Z, in particular, should reflect on whether this crisis might equally veil opportunity. I am referring to a much-needed break for young people: to be able to invest in stocks at prices below “fair value” for the first time in their lives!
Let me start by saying that stocks and bonds are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, a smart investor keeps a balanced and diverse portfolio that reflects their age, attitude to risk and personal set of circumstances. That said, as we go into 2020, if your portfolio is sitting heavy in equity investments you may wish to look at redistributing some of that towards bonds. Now, let me explain why…
The stock market had been going strong so far this year. However, Trump looks to now have poured cold water on things, in threatening a trade war with China. The S&P 500 is down 3% in two weeks, and my favourite Technology Index fund is down 6% so I’ve bought more of that, as I said I would.
There have been some big technology IPOs in Pinterest, and Uber yesterday but I’ve steered clear of both of those. Instead, I’ve been looking at start-ups to invest in.