Jessica Ness, CFP®, a Senior Financial Adviser at CJM, shares some thoughts on the markets and a few opportunities, like the CARES Act. She also shares that your CJM family is healthy and safely keeping up operations as usual, from home.

Jessica Ness, CFP®
Jessica Ness, CFP®Senior Vice President, Financial Adviser, Principal

In this stressful time, we need to focus on what is most important – the health and well being of ourselves and our loved ones. We are hoping and praying for everyone and their families, thinking of each and every client during this trying time. We will get through this, together. Today, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you on the markets, a few opportunities, and how your CJM family is doing.

Many of our clients have asked why the markets have reacted so strongly to the coronavirus. These are uncertain times and markets do not like uncertainty. As a leading indicator, markets have a tendency to over-react then calm down as details emerge and the true economic impact is understood. Don’t get me wrong, this event is having an impact on healthcare and the economy, and will continue to for the coming months. We can’t know what is coming, but we will be here, come what may, comforted and calm because we have planned for environments like this. For all of our clients, we invest in long-term diversified portfolios that are specifically designed to weather short-term fluctuations. For our clients relying on their portfolio for income, we have at least 3-5 years of the income you need in bonds and cash. Our plan for managing cash needs has worked historically and is working now.

Our clients that have been with us for decades know that there will be ups and downs, and we will be fine on the other side. In January of 2009, our former Chairman Tim Jones somewhat jokingly suggested that clients do not have to “open their statements”, many did not and were spared a lot of worry. Now, I’m not suggesting that you put your head in the sand, just keep perspective that we are in the middle of a crisis, and this too shall pass. Your quarterly performance reports will be coming out in the coming weeks, a snapshot of how your portfolio has done during only the first stage of this downturn. The recovery lies ahead!
In life, we need to make lemonade when life hands us lemons, so there are a few opportunities to take advantage of at this time. First, the CARES Act was just passed and this allows folks to defer taking their Required Minimum Distribution this year. If you don’t need the income right now, consider leaving those dollars in your IRA and potentially lowering your tax bill. Also, keep an eye on mortgage rates because they have dipped lower and it might be a good time to refinance. Lastly, if you have excess cash, the time is coming to consider investing it at these lower prices, while stocks are on sale.

We are very grateful, at CJM, that we all have our health and our families around us. We are also lucky to have had all of the systems in place to work from home prior to this health crisis, and we will continue to work-from-home, keeping up operations as normal, through May. Give us a call or shoot us an email anytime.

That’s all for now, thank you for taking the time to watch today. Don’t forget to wash your hands, keep your distance, and keep perspective. We will get through this, together.