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RISING FROM TRAGEDY
WHAT 9/11 TAUGHT ME I was getting ready for work when the towers fell. I only just caught it on TV — had I left a few minutes earlier, I may have made it all the way to the office utterly unaware of the peace that had been shattered. But I saw the news that September morning, and it stopped me in my tracks. Even then, I knew this tragedy would fundamentally change the world; I just didn’t know how. And now we find ourselves facing yet another moment of great uncertainty. The spread of COVID-19 has, in many ways, felt like a slow-motion 9/11. Everything didn’t come crashing down at once, but once things started falling, boy did they fall. The stock market plunged to painful depths at a breakneck pace. Travel came to a halt, “social distancing” went from what chaperone’s try to enforce at a school dance to common practice. And, of course, we had the arrival of a previously unknown fifth horseman of the apocalypse, the Tiger King. I want to believe that things will be looking brighter when this newsletter reaches your doorstep in May, but at this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to when we’ll begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Make no mistake; there will be light. If 9/11 taught us anything, it’s that people have an incredible capacity to come together and rebuild even after the most shocking tragedies. In the months and years after that heinous act of terrorism, our nation was more unified than it had been in decades. People realized the values that really mattered in this world, and life adjusted for the better. But, of course, things never went “back to normal.” These days, it’s hard to imagine a trip to the airport not involving an arduous ordeal at the security checkpoint, but before 9/11, TSA didn’t exist. Neither did the Department of Homeland Security, the Patriot Act, and a whole slew of other parts of our reality we now see as “the new normal.” And now, even as I write this in what appears to be the turning point of this outbreak, I am certain we’re going to be entering into a new, new normal. We’re certainly going to be in a recession, one that is a wholly different animal than what we faced in the late 2000s. For starters, this market crash has a death toll tied to it, and it won’t be something solved through legislation alone. So long as this virus continues to create fear, markets will remain firmly in bear territory. In many ways, the fate
of our economic health is in the hands of the medical professionals already working tirelessly to defend our physical health.
This has been an important reminder that, as much as the financial industrial complex would like us all to belive that the markets are mathematical and predictable, the economy can’t be reduced to equations. Ultimately, people drive the economy, not the other way around. It’s at times like these that I’m grateful I pursue safe money options for my clients. It’s a decision that has greatly softened the impact of what could have been a fiscal catastrophe for families. Now my efforts are set on what comes after this crisis. As I mentioned, I have no doubt there will be silver linings to this tragedy. We have once again been reminded of what truly matters in this world: our health, our loved ones, and our connection with our community. The world will be changed by this outbreak, but together we can work to make sure it’s a change for the better.
Here’s to brighter days ahead,
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