How the Economy Will Continue to Hinge on COVID-19

Mar 30, 2020 | Commentaries

Last week, a large number of states and metropolitan areas took the important and difficult step of imposing “shelter in place” restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. San Francisco and Chapel Hill, the two amazing places where Delegate’s offices are located, are now both subject to these restrictions. Delegate, however, continues to function with all of our employees working remotely and with all of us using technology to stay connected, both from a business and personal standpoint. We look forward to the day when we’re all back in the office together, but we are functioning very well and hope that our clients and partners see no difference in service, save a few videoconferences that would normally be in-person meetings.

On Friday, two events occurred to bring the economic portion of this crisis into focus. First, weekly jobless claims spiked to 3.3 million, which significantly exceeded the consensus forecast of roughly 1.5 million, representing the highest number of newly filed jobless claims in U.S. history. Second, President Trump signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package that the Senate and House had agreed on earlier in the week. Combined with the actions taken by the Federal Reserve last week, the stimulus goes a long way toward shoring up the economy in the short term. Issues may arise in the long term, however, if the economy doesn’t return relatively quickly to some semblance of what it was a month ago.

This week, our investment focus will be on finding pockets of value across the asset class spectrum. For example, for clients who are very underweight in global equities relative to their policy targets, we believe it may be time to add to equities and to dollar cost average towards those policy targets. If economic conditions and market valuations deteriorate further, we will become more aggressive in adding exposure towards long-term policy targets.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you would like to discuss any investment or long-term planning topic.

We’re here and ready to assist.