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Volatility, Cycles…What’s Your Plan?

It was at the beginning of June that we decided to restart an old hobby of ours…cycling.

The catalyst was a sincere need to get outside with the wind at our backs and just ride. Being cooped up inside on lockdown had taken it’s toll. But, to our surprise, many others had already thought about cycling. In fact, according to statistics, in March, nationwide sales of bicycles, equipment and repair services nearly doubled compared to the same period in 2019.  We went to not one, not two, but several shops and sites online with zero outcome. Yes, the coronavirus pandemic impacted stores and distributors who sold out of low-end consumer bikes. Now the United States faced a severe bicycle shortage as disrupted global supply chains couldn’t meet demands. We all know that bike shortages weren’t the only shortages, toilet paper, masks, wipes, etc. As for cycling…walking a little faster would now be the only way we might have the wind at our backs.

But the bike shortage cleared-up. 

Undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns, as the recession was near it’s beginning, the bike business was booming. Then supply chains became disrupted and additional bikes and parts could not be acquired. So, like many Americans, we were walking the paths this summer rather than riding. Yet, by early August, the disruptions in the bike business had cleared and bikes were once again on the shelves. And, if you were fortunate to have checked in weekly with your bike shop, you landed one even before it landed at the shop.

The coronavirus pandemic arrived in early 2020. Shortly after, it took the S&P 500 only 22 trading days to fall 30% from its record high. That record high was reached on Feb. 19, making it the fastest drop of this magnitude in history, according to data from Bank of America Securities.Then, as we edged into summer, the longest economic expansion cycle in the history of the U.S. at 128 months had moved into a recession. 

The recession began in February yet by late August may be as good as over. 

Some economists are reporting the US economy has moved from recession into early phase of the business cycle. While typical recessions last nearly 18 months or 1.5 years, this one may have lasted just a few short months.

So, as we look forward to the remainder of 2020, we are confident that there will be challenges.

And those challenges like the fact we are in an election year, a pandemic that has yet to see a vaccine or cure, and being in the first inning of an economic recovery, breed levels of volatility themselves. It’s kind of like riding a bike. With the wind at your back or front, no matter the challenge of up hill or down hill, you’ll get to where you are going when you follow the path. So, make sure you have developed a financial plan, and that you stick to it. If you do, you’ll get through this unprecedented time and get to where you are going.

Important Note:

The views expressed in this post are as of the date of the posting and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This post contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected.

Please note that nothing in this post should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any security or separate account. Nothing is intended to be, and should not be taken to be, investment, accounting, tax or legal advice. If you would like investment, accounting, tax or legal advice, you should consult with your own financial advisors, accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs. No advice may be rendered by Lenity Financial, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.

Sources: The New York Times – bike-shortage-coronavirus   Fidelity – recession-recovery, Forbes-10/23/18 on recession , Lenity Financial, Inc. – Take Time Off CNBC – https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/23