Today marks the two-month anniversary of when I began my quarantine. Most Americans’ quarantines commenced within a week or two of March 20 when mine began. The time has surprisingly flown by and I thought it would be a good time to share a few observations on quarantine.
One downside of the time flying is my desperate need for a haircut. Some people have resorted to cutting their own hair. One of my friends even met his barber in a garage somewhere. Many are just riding it out and that is what I have chosen to do. While I’m always happy to see Lana from Lana’s Salon, I will be ecstatic when I see her next.
Takeout never tasted so good. One of my favorite things to do is go out for a nice dinner. There are many great restaurants here in Northeastern PA that ensure that I’ll never have a 6 pack no matter how much time I spend on the Peloton. Quarantine has forced me to cook more. I’ve learned that I’m not nearly as bad at it as I thought I would be. However, the first time I ordered takeout from Russell’s; it was literally the best meal I ever had. I was skeptical of how the food would travel and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I still can’t figure out if it was that good or it was because I had been basically eating my own cooking for so long. Quite honestly, I don’t care. It was awesome.
The market pundits are never happy. Well, I kind of knew that already, but it is being highlighted more now than it has in a while. The market hit the lowest levels of this crisis on March 23, which was my second business day of quarantine. It essentially went up in a straight line from there into mid-April and has been pretty much trading back and forth in a tight range since then. All of the talking heads have been calling for a pullback and a likely retest of the lows of March 23rd since then. So far, they are wrong. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be right at some point.
One thing is certain. Nobody knows. As we saw on Monday, one positive headline can generate a significant gain in the markets. There is a race to fight this virus by way of vaccines and treatments. Hopefully, somebody wins sooner rather than later. The problem is that we don’t know if it will happen and how long it will take. That is partially why the market has stalled here and has been moving back and forth in a tight range. There are other factors such as mixed economic data, mixed earnings and unprecedented government intervention. On top of that, the current economic data isn’t always in line with market performance.
Overall, the last two months have been and will continue to be a time in our lives that we’ll likely never experience again. It has also reminded investors and investment professionals that you can’t successfully time the market. It is best to stick to your plan and focus on what you can control. Most importantly, take advantage of this opportunity to slow down, be grateful and enjoy the simple things in life.