Displaying items by tag: recession
One of the hardest things to do in a crisis is to sit back and let one’s mind relax enough to think creatively and see the big picture. This has been particularly hard to do in the fog of the coronavirus, which is not just a financial/economic crisis, but primarily a health emergency that has disrupted our everyday lives more than in any period since WWII. So what are some of the long-term economic, and thus market, consequences of this virus? We believe the main outcome of this huge lockdown is ultimately going to be more consolidation of power by large corporates. As Main Streets across the US are cleared out of small business that do not have the capital to survive, American consumers will be ever more incentivized to look online and to existing behemoths (who have the resources to weather this storm). As a very short-term example, think of the 100,000+ workers will will quickly migrate from Main Street retail/service sector jobs into employment for Amazon; the consolidation that is happening in employment will front-run consumer spending.
FINSUM: As sad as it may seem, we see this lockdown as a big tailwind for the S&P 500 over the next few years, as this is the kind of crisis that will wipeout small competition and concentrate revenue in an ever smaller group.
Markets have been on an extraordinary run over the last three days. 20%+ for the Dow and a measly 18% for the S&P 500, technically ending the bull market. It was the best three-day run since 1931 (in itself a bleak reference). However, many on the street think this rally was too bullish too fast, as we are arguably not even to the worst of the health crisis, and certainly not in the worst part of the coming economic slowdown.
FINSUM: We are going to have at least two quarters of awful earnings and several months of terrible jobs data, so there is a long way to go. This seems like a stimulus-euphoria/dead-cat bounce rally.
Today is a stark reminder of the differences between the view from Main Street and the view from Wall Street. US weekly jobless claims were leased this morning and broke the all-time record of weekly losses by almost 500%. The previous record was 695,000 jobs lost in 1982. This week’s figures was 3.28m. Yet despite the shockingly grim number, stocks are rallying heartily as investors bet the government’s stimulus will be a cure-all.
FINSUM: This is a great example of how the market only cares about actual vs predicted numbers. Investors figure the 3.3m losses were already priced in, so presumably there is upside. The reality of where things head is anyone’s guess.
Yes, the market had an unbelievable day yesterday. It was so good in fact, that it reminds one of all the things bad about the current situation—markets don’t rise 11% unless there is a huge crisis going on. At the time of writing, markets are pretty flat today, but tomorrow could be a doozy. US weekly jobless clams get released tomorrow morning and will be one of the first tangible signs of how the economy is trending under the coronavirus lockdown.
FINSUM: Many analysts are saying we might hit 30% unemployment, depending on how long this general virus lockdown lasts. Tomorrow could be the first sign of things to come and markets may react sharply.
Many RIAs across the country are worried right now. With fee levels often tied to AUM, revenue seems likely to take a ~30% hit this year. That is enough to break many RIAs, especially those who were previously running only 10% profit margins. So how can RIAs cope? Firstly, those who have been very tight on budgets are in better shape. Those who were operating at 30% profit margins should be okay. A few of the key aspects to consider right now are: reaching out to vendors to “share the pain”, changing compensation structures towards lower fixed pay and more incentive-based pay, and switching to a quarterly budget, which will better align expenses and income.
FINSUM: We might go through a long period of lean times, so RIAs need to act fast to get their fixed costs under control.