Me, Molly, and COVID-19

Christopher D. Flis |

This is a follow-on to the COVID-19 related communications my Firm has had with our Clients.  For a review of what we have already sent our Clients, please read this.

The following note was sent from Resilient Asset Management on March 23, 2020:

To the Clients of Resilient Asset Management:

Hello, I hope you all are doing well.

I say that knowing that we are in the most unusual circumstances that most of us have ever experienced in our lives.  First and foremost, those of us who are most susceptible to this thing need to take the necessary precautions.  I am no doctor; however, if there is any doubt, there is no doubt - stay away and minimize your exposure as much as you can.

I realize that we are incessantly bombarded with media bursts from every angle and that filtering the barrage is exhausting in itself.  I won't pretend to have a reputable source to which you can turn to allay all your concerns....unfortunately, I don't believe such a source exists.  For me, limiting my search for updates and answers has proven more beneficial than anything I have "found" on-line.

To combat the inescapable reality of media bombardment, I harken back and recommend to you the old tried-and-true maxim of "Control what you can control".  To the maximum extent practical, I attempt to do that.  Here is a brief rundown on how:

1)  I avoid coming in close contact with others - I don't know if that will help, but I know it certainly can't hurt;

2)  I wash my hands more than I ever have in my life, which includes, in aggregate, over 2 years of deployment on a Navy Ship - a much more close-quartered space than any of the cruise lines we read so much about.

3)  I keep a wary eye on all media and do not permit "news" to impact my daily duties.

4)  There is one other thing I do that I will save until the end when I close.

Your Personal Finances

So you know, I am monitoring the financial situation as it unfolds each day.  As you have probably read for yourself, there are many different suggested resolutions in the offing.  As I write this, it is impossible to know what the final resolutions will look like.

What I do know is this - the Federal Government is going to come-up with something big.  While there will necessarily be Winners and Losers, in aggregate, the United States Economy - and those around the world for that matter - is going to receive an enormous jolt to assist with pushing us through "to the other side" of this pandemic.

We learned from the Great Depression that leaving the economy to its own devices in times like this is an enormously horrible thing to do.  In the financial crises (plural) since then, the government has prescribed economic medicines to hasten the economy's recoveries (plural intended).  True, as with the medicines we take ourselves, there are side effects, some potentially harmful.  However, those potentialities must be set aside for the time being - we have an economic sucking chest wound to tend to first.

In financial markets, when you mix uncertainty and fear, you get lower prices....that is the nature of capital markets.  However, it is also in the nature of capital markets to be somewhat of a barometer of what is to come down the road.  And once fear subsides and there is some clarity as to what the future holds, market corrections to the upside can be quite powerful - these are not market days where you want to be sitting on the sidelines.  This is why I stand by my very strong recommendation to stand-pat with your equity investments - sharp market declines have historically been wonderful long-term buying opportunities for the patient investor.


As I have said before, I have no idea where markets are going today, tomorrow, or the next day.  What I do know is that WE (the bigger WE) need a steady diet of good news to counter-balance the messages of mostly despair we have received to date.  Once we have positive momentum, despair will fade into hope, and then we will begin forging the path back to normalcy.  

There is absolutely no doubt that many people across the globe will suffer unconscionably from this virus....this lot deserves our absolute best of all types of assistance.  What is also important to understand - I suggest - is that this group is going to be the minority amongst us.  And there are many people, businesses, and government entities already supporting the care efforts.

For the vast majority of people in the world, we are going to live in the Post-COVID-19 world - that is a mathematical certainty.  Admittedly, this world may look different than the January 2020 World, though most of us will be here nonetheless.  Some of us will contract the disease and live, while others will never suffer infection.  There will be a happy other side to this pandemic for mankind.  

Humans are ingenious creatures - in most crises, this ingenuity results in some of the greatest accomplishments in the history of mankind - we need only look at the progress against the AIDS virus for one of countless accomplishments....I have no doubt this crisis will spawn similar achievement.

Please keep these words in mind as you are bombarded with the worst of what is going on in the world right now.

That last thing I do (#4 from my above list)

As some of you may know, I live within walking distance of my office.  Since the gyms are now closed, I have had to substitute a good deal more walking and standing at my desk as an inadequate substitute for my regular exercise routines.  I have also started bringing one of my dogs (we have 3) - Molly - to the office every day.

We found Molly in a ditch in the middle of nowhere near Memphis 4 years ago.  I don't know what breeds are mixed-in Molly; however, I do know that she is extremely motivated by food, loves to play catch with any tennis ball, and has - bless her - exceptionally bad breath.  The best quality about Molly; however, is that she is unflappable.  You can see from the picture above that she has a doggie bed in the office and I can say from observing her for the past 2 weeks that she has no problem sleeping (and snoring) on that thing for the entire day.  Intermittently when I take a break, I rouse her.  As odd as this may sound - her complete ambivalence to the current situation is amazing to me.  And even odder, it is funny to think how my dog is assisting me as I progress through the COVID-19 Crisis.

As always, I am standing by for you during this crisis.  If you ever want to speak to me directly, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your time.

Comments, criticism, and suggestions are always welcome.  If you would like to provide any, please contact me here.