February 2020

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February 2020


How many times in recent years have the media scared the ‘whatever’ out of readers by portending doom in bold headlines? In each instance the lede implied that death or catastrophe was imminent for large numbers of the population:

  • Ebola
  • SARS
  • The year 2000 for computers
  • Coronavirus

Repeating from our letter written prior to the much-anticipated computer systems collapse that didn’t occur when we rolled into 2000, “You don’t get hit by a train you see coming.”

But here we are, the Coronavirus competing with the impeachment circus for air time and column space. Statistically speaking (I really disliked that course) flu-caused deaths (61,000 in the U.S. during the 2017-2018 season) are much greater than any of the above.

The above listed concerns have predictably generated heavy downside volatility in the markets, led by the knee-jerk traders and some nervous investors. However; patient long-term investors, among whom are us and other owners of strong dividend growing companies, have used the opportunities to add to or acquire quality issues.

With the markets fairly valued, a correction, perhaps a significant one as much a 10%, is possible. But when? We have no way of knowing, but having experienced multiple corrections, bear and bull markets, we do know this: when it happens, we will, just as we mentioned above, take advantage of the opportunities to increase your portfolio income and enhance the growth outlook.

Previous column: January 2020
Next column: March 2020