What now? From an individual perspective... understand. The human brain. Cognitive ability. Your... no, make that our most effective weapon. This is what allowed the species to rise above, to form groups, to communicate in order to educate, to add development of aggregate knowledge to the evolution of physical potential that results in exponentially positive advancement.
Social distancing is not a game. Stay away from folks as much as possible. You protect yourself. You protect your family. You protect someone that you never will meet. Do it. This is not panic. This is not overreaction, though I would enjoy being accused if eventually true. (It is not.) This is the result of being the math kid growing up. I can do the math, and the math is not in your favor. Most of you will either get sick yourself, or get someone else sick. No fear? How about your grandma? Can you be afraid for her?
Identify. Avenues of attack. Areas of opportunity. Where are you vulnerable. Your portfolio? Sure. I have repeatedly offered up my approach. The "rebound group" that has been awful and will remain so for quite some time, thought the key to this group has been Amazon (AMZN) , and that name has been a day trader's gift, allowing at least some outperformance on both good days or bad. Then, there's the "revenue group", led by such Sarge faves as AbbVie (ABBV) , Verizon (VZ) , and AT&T (T) . Many of you will recall other names that I have mentioned along with these names that have been in these groups. Please realize that there is no "set it and forget it" approach. I have been forced by circumstance to either jettison some of these names or modify exposure. This approach is real-time.
The third group that I gave you... the "virus group" has had ups and downs, but in aggregate has permitted the portfolio at large to beat market performance in general. Nobody likes to see their book down 4% on any trading day, but when the large cap indices are down 12% that day, you know why you showed up and tried. Leadership among this group has come from Clorox (CLX) . I have not added high flyers such as Regeneron (REGN) , or BioNTech (BNTX) , but the names that I bet on ahead of the crisis such as Moderna (MRNA) , Gilead Sciences (GILD) , and Teledoc (TDOC) have not hurt me at all. Costco (COST) , a name that I was already long, can also be considered part of this group. Non-perishable foods are also a good idea, such as Campbell Soup (CPB) and Conagra (CAG) .
Adapt. It's that simple. Be what is needed at all times and in all environments. You can do this. I promise. You are not on vacation. You must remain highly motivated, and truly dedicated. People rely upon you. Be there when they are scared. Don't let the people who see you as their guide know when you have doubts. Need a shoulder. I am here. Tell me. I may not be able to help in person, but I will listen. I will not turn my back on the frightened. We are the American people. No, let me change that. We are the great American people. We are diverse. We are all talented. We are brave, and we will fight. We will fight this infection and all that try to hurt us until hell freezes over, and then we will fight on the ice. You got me?
No stupid risk taking. The people you love are too valuable.
Down The Road
Overcome. We shall. The coming days will bring a literal plethora of bad news. Do not let the growing numbers of cases, and the vastly different information rattle your cage. See the futures "limit down"? Look away when you need to, as long as you do not hide from reality. Your P/L looks like something out of a monster movie? So be it. They used to burn people at the stake. Better folks have had it worse. Cover that spot on your screen with a Post-It and carry on with the mission for as long as you remain mission capable. That's what I do.
This is not an advertisement for organized religion, but I do have my faith to fall back on. I won't tell you to try it if that's not your thing, but this is a comfort to me. Take the time to reflect in peace either way. Then maintain elevated levels of both physical and mental exercise. None of us know of the time and place that we will be called upon to act at a level that tests the limits of our potential.
What we do know, is that the sun will shine. Children will laugh and play. There will be days at the beach and baseball, or concerts. Just not today. Sounds tough? It is tough. So are you. So are we. We are indeed called to greatness.