Author: Lee R. Johnson, Jr., CFA

Where do we stand? What’s next.

GVA’s CIO, Lee R. Johnson, Jr., CFA , shares his views on the stock market and overall economy. We hope you find it informative.

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As I write this from my home in Chester Springs, PA, I thought I would share a few thoughts unrelated to work, the stock market or the economy. There is plenty of that in the pages that follow.

First, I want to extend my warmest wishes to everyone out there and my hope that you are all safe and healthy. The top priority right now is your health and the well-being of you and your family. That is the most important thing.

Second, I urge you to stay positive because I firmly believe the human spirit always prevails. For me, I think back to a 100-mile bike ride I did last year to Ocean City, NJ. It was a beautiful day and the group I rode with went through Philadelphia and crossed the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. As I began my ascent up the bridge, I passed a few people and then the path opened up in front of me. The sky emerged and served as my view the whole way up. It was such an invigorating blue no matter where I looked. Even the sound of the passing cars went silent. At the top of the bridge, I stopped and looked around and could see for miles. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the view was spectacular. I looked back at the city and thought “well I just rode through all that confusion and commotion and made it up here safe and sound and now it’s so nice and calm”. There were no limits as I stood there. I compared it to what I do on a daily basis working in the stock market. Where there is constant uncertainty and constant commotion. I thought “this is just like the market…if you stay the course, think positive and stay focused, you will find yourself in a better place and much better off for it”. This is how I am thinking right now. I am simply riding my bike up that bridge and thinking of that clear blue sky in front of me because I know there will be clarity on the other side.

Finally, as we all stay at home, think of all the good that brings. Think about the extra time you get to spend with your family, your kids, your pet, your significant other and/or your extended family. Think how you’ve had extra down time in the house to relax and unwind. Think how you’ve been able to reconnect with friends and family in different ways – perhaps through a “Zoom” meeting. Now you may be feeling separation anxiety as you adjust from your normal routine. And you may be doing things outside of your comfort zone. Like working from home or home schooling your kids. But think of it this way: is it really that bad? Or would you rather be in a hospital bed with a ventilator as your only hope for survival? Not me that’s for sure. And I’m sure not you either. So let’s all be mindful of that and focus on the good and think positive here. Because it’s my belief the rest will work itself out in time. Now, let’s get on to the markets and the economy.

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