These are hard times. It has almost been a month now that I’m locked in my own house. Only stepping out for the essentials.
Whenever we step outside, we make sure to wear masks and gloves. And after returning back home, clean our hands with soap and sanitizers.
These times make you think about everything that we take for granted.
I’m an IT engineer working from home but when I think about the people whose work demands physical presence; it makes me really sad. They are the ones who are most impacted by this pandemic.
So how can one keep the wheels rolling in such hard times?
Time Is Changing, To Survive You Must Adapt
Every industry except Healthcare and Telecom is seeing a great depression.
This is very evident because everyone is in their house full-time. All are working from home. This explains the rise in Telecom industry because now more people are consuming data. And the data consumption rate is increased by 20%.
Same with the Healthcare industries. Hundreds of people are getting hospitalized.
There is an urgent ask in the healthcare industry for more nurses and doctors and medicines. The money is draining in the healthcare department because they are saving lives. That is why there is a clear upsurge in the Healthcare department.
It is certain that we are heading towards a Depression.
Working-class is going to suffer a lot. We have already started seeing the glimpses. Companies have furloughed their workers. Many companies have shut down their businesses and are uncertain of the time they will remain closed in the future.
All of this is terrible and the longer COVID-19 drama goes on the more loss of employment we’ll see.
How to remain Protected in such times?
CASH is your best friend at such times.
When such depression comes, the price of everything starts to plummet. You can see this in the stock market. It has hit the bottom and continues to drop every day.
In such times, you are left with two choices –
- Take the risk and buy more.
- Don’t seek profits; withdraw all your money from the market; wait for the market to get stable again.
Let’s talk about both the scenarios:
Take Risk & Buy More
This philosophy is very easy to understand. One of Warren Buffett’s most famous investment sayings is:
Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.~ Warren Buffett
Simply translates to the fact that when the market is low, buy and stock up as much as you can.
This seems to be a very risky philosophy but if you see it in the long term then it doesn’t appear to be risky any more.
You see market always finds a way to stabilize itself. It has done it before and it will do it in the future. The only factor is the TIME.
How much time are you willing to give it?
Or better… how much time can you afford to give it?
Let me share the stock market index for the last 100 years.
The grey vertical lines you see indicates the fall in the market.
The great fall of all times was experienced in the year between 1929 and 1934. Those were the hardest times of all.
Then the recent recession was experienced in the year around 2008-2010. Many people lost their jobs and many industries went bankrupt.
This was a big fall; no doubt about it. It took us more than 5 years to repair the damages. And then we came back on our feet and started shooting for stars until COVID-19 hit us hard.
But, if you compare this fall with the one we faced in 2008, it seems we are in a much better position. And the market is looking promising. It will get back up sooner than we anticipate.
So, if we apply the Warren Buffett philosophy and chose to buy as much as we can (of course intelligently, not greedily) then we are talking about some serious money from this crisis.
The idea here is to keep the cash which can help you sustain for at least 6 months (if there is no income) and invest the rest in the market. This way you will be earning some handsome amount in the long run.
Remember, there is no quick rich scheme. You will have to invest money and forget for at least 5 years. That is the average time it will take for the market to stabilize.
The market is very volatile at this point. It can go down and I assume it will go down because COVID-19 isn’t ready to give up yet.
The market and COVID-19 numbers are inversely proportional.
Now let’s talk about the second choice.
Don’t seek profits; withdraw all your money; wait for the market to get stable again.
This is a very safe approach at these times for people who do not have much cash in hand.
Let’s say you do not have enough cash in hand to survive for the next 6 months. Then survival becomes your first and the most important priority. And when survival is at stake then you cannot afford to take any risk. Then this advice comes as a blessing.
There is no sense to keep buying stocks when you don’t have money to buy food.
The better approach is to not think of profits and at the same time protect yourself from any loss. The neutral outcome is the best possible course of action for you at this point.
Try to minimize your expenses and save as much as you can.
Seal any leakages in your financial pipes.
This is a very good time to analyze all your expenses and see where your money is draining and fix that drainage.
Use this time to fill all the holes in your money bag and wait for the better opportunity. You can still reap the benefits from this crisis only if you have cash in hand.
After six months – my prediction says that the market will start to pick up. And if you will have the cash in hand then you can definitely invest that in the market. But now just stay back, sit tight and relax. Your time will come.
Sometimes the maximum profit is a curse so don’t feel sad if you won’t reap the maximum. Just try to remain horizontal even after the crisis. That is your achievement.
Every crisis sees some new faces emerging as leaders. This is one such crisis and I’m sure we will be seeing new faces on the landscape of this economy.
Even now we have started seeing the hackathons happening all around us. People are asked to come with new ideas to help the economy and find new ways of trade that don’t exist today.
Every crisis is an opportunity to learn and improvise. This crisis taught us to respect nature as it is. When you forget your place on this planet then mother nature finds ways to make you realize that you are nothing. Nature always finds the balance, it doesn’t discriminate. I’m sure when we emerge out of this, we would start respecting nature and everything in it.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please leave your comments below.