Market Volatility

by Bill DeShurko and Jim Kilgore, CFP

“Simply put, our economy is strong, unemployment is at a 50-year low, household income is at a 20-year high, consumer sentiment is near record highs, and corporate earnings continue to impress.”

Q: So what went wrong?

A: The Coronavirus

The stock market does not like uncertainty, especially uncertainty centers around a question like, “How bad can it get?” More and more experts and market pundits are answering that question with some variation of “Pretty bad?”

While numbers of cases and deaths are really small compared to most annual flu outbreaks, the reaction has been much more radical. Deaths as a percentage of reported infections are relatively high, and with no known cure or vaccine on the horizon many are starting to use the “Pandemic” word. While we have heard of factory closings and quarantines in China, Italy with just 10 deaths reported so far, has quarantined whole towns, cancelled or closed schools, museums, football games etc.

El-Erian, legendary market sage at PIMCO said back at the beginning of February that the coronavirus is going to “paralyze China,” adding that it will “cascade throughout the global economy.” He has been proven right. On Monday he added on CNBC that disruptions from “Shock” events tend to take time to work through the economy. Not the best support when the DOW is dropping 1000 points.

What is Fund Trader Pro’s take?

What we know is that the U S and other countries may soon feel the pinch of a shortage of many products as Chinese production is shut down. Apple and P&G have already warned of an impact to earnings.

Troubling news this week indicates a vaccine is at least months away and could be ineffective.

Quarantines/shutdowns in the U S would be crippling to our economy.


The rebound from pent-up demand could be huge. The caveat to this, which is a big caveat is that the coronavirus could be just the start of an economic snowball. A strong economy can cover many blemishes, the warts will come out if employment is affected.

In other words, we just don’t know. False alarm that blows over or global pandemic? Flip a coin.

Faced with uncertainty we are currently recommending that 401k investors decease their equity exposure. Take 20% to 50% of your holdings and make sure they are already in, or move them to a safe holding. (For our subscribers you will get specific sell and buy recommendations).

At 401 Advisor, LLC we are evaluating and making changes to our holdings as we see necessary. We are very comfortable with holding onto our dividend generating securities, but will continue to look for opportunities to raise cash.

Mr. DeShurko is the Managing Member of 401 Advisor, LLC an independent registered investment advisor. Jim Kilgore is an Investment Advisor Representative of 401 Advisor, LLC. They are also  registered representatives of Ceros Financial Services, Inc. (Member FINRA/SIPC).  Ceros is not affiliated with 401 Advisor.  The views expressed are those of Mr. DeShurko and do not necessarily reflect those of Ceros Financial Services, Inc., its employees or affiliates.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.  There is no guarantee that any investment or strategy will generate a profit or prevent a loss. 

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Charles H. Dow Award Winner 2008. The papers honored with this award have represented the richness and depth of technical analysis.


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