Factor #1 in our Road to Recovery Playbook is finding confidence in the peak of COVID-19 cases in the United States. At Epic Capital, we are monitoring this factor daily, and we wanted to provide an update into what we are seeing. As shown in the Chart of the Day, while the number of new cases in the United States has continued to climb, the number of new cases seen outside of the US has begun to drop in recent days. In fact, Italy, the worst-hit country in terms of total deaths from the virus, reported on Tuesday that new cases hit a two-week low.
This data is important because thus far the number of COVID-19 cases has conformed to Farr’s Law of Epidemics, exhibiting a somewhat predictable bell curve normal-like distribution. Formulated in the 1800s by British epidemiologist Dr. William Farr, these laws predict that epidemics normally follow a pattern of sharp increase, a peak, and then a decline back to a baseline.
The distributions of both new COVID-19 cases and related fatalities in China and South Korea have exhibited this behavior and appear to have ridden out the initial outbreak cycle. The City of Wuhan, China, which was the initial epicenter for the virus, reported on March 19 that it had zero new cases—showing us that the curve can be flattened and there is light at the end of this dark tunnel.
“The market’s bounce last week may have been in anticipation of some of these more positive data points regarding the virus,” said LPL Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “While US cases continue to climb, the more countries that reach their peak, the more clarity we gain into what that timing may look like for the United States. Investors have historically been rewarded for investing during these crisis events, and we believe the time for suitable investors to consider adding some risk to their portfolios may be approaching.”
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) increased the target rate by 75 basis points (bp) to a 3.25% upper bound and delivered a more pessimistic outlook in their published Summary of Economic Projections.
You may have seen this statistic before or one resembling it: the average 65-year-old retiring couple can now expect to pay more than $250,000 in healthcare costs during the rest of their lives. In fact, Fidelity Investments now projects this cost at $285,000. The effort to prepare for these potential expenses is changing the … Continue reading “Healthcare Costs are Cutting into Retirement Preparations”
Investors are routinely warned about allowing emotion to influence their decisions. However, they are less routinely cautioned about their preconceptions and biases that may color their financial choices. In a battle between the facts & biases, our biases may win. If we acknowledge this tendency, we may be able to avoid some unexamined choices when … Continue reading “Do Our Emotion or Biases Affect Our Financial Choice”
At one point or another, you may realize capital gains, which is a taxable event. What can you do about them? You can do what some investors do – you could recognize investments with a loss and practice “tax-loss harvesting.”
Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach? It may sound counterintuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time, the performance of different investments can shift a portfolio’s intent as well as … Continue reading “Rebalancing Your Portfolio”
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