The Coronavirus—also known as COVID-19—has rocked the world over the past few weeks. This strain of the infectious disease which has originated in China is spreading rapidly due to many unknowns.
Doctors are struggling to figure out the incubation period of the disease which is how it was able to spread so quickly. They originally believed the time between catching the Coronavirus and the time a person shows symptoms was only a few days. Now, they believe it is up to two weeks.
While totally devastating for those who have lost their lives from COVID-19, the rest of the world is in the midst of major panic. Markets are beginning to crash. Entire industries are taking major hits.
Right now, the financial crisis is relatively minor. Great financial uncertainty lies before us, so it is important to take action to protect ourselves now.
People around the world are panicked, anxious and confused. Young people seem to be spared from the deadly outcomes associated with the disease, but everybody runs this risk of carrying and transferring the Coronavirus to a susceptible loved one.
As of March 12th, there are nearly 140 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Canada. The majority of those people were travellers. Most other cases are of people who had close contact with travellers.
Of these 140 cases, the Coronavirus death toll in Canada is only 1. That puts the current mortality rate at less than 1%.
In hopes of preventing as many future cases as possible, travel bans and lockdowns have been mandated in a multitude of countries.
Many large companies that have their production overseas are taking a hit. People are being told to work from home. Some are even being laid off. Students are being told not to return to school.
Hand sanitizer, bleach and toilet paper sales are through the roof. But the travel industry? It’s hurting.
Even before many travel bans were imposed, many people began to cancel trips abroad out of fear. Not only did people want to avoid travelling to areas with outspread of COVID-19, but they didn’t want to risk getting stuck away from home.
Cruise lines, airlines and hotels are absolutely suffering. Even Disneyworld will be closed for the next several weeks.
While the corporations and their shareholders will take a hit, millions of people who are employed by these companies will be without work.
With no paychecks, people may not have the income to take care of their families. When there is little to no money in the pockets of the people, other industries will start to suffer.
In fact, other industries will start to suffer, and the poor economic health has been reflected in the stock market. The Dow Jones—which is considered a measure of health in the stock market—has plummeted over the past few weeks.
So, let's take a look at the current market situation for the past week:
● Down Jones - lost 17.19%
● S&P 500 INDEX - 15.62%
● SHANGHAI COMPOSITE INDEX (China) - lost 4.85%
● S&P/ASX 200 INDEX (Australia) - lost 10.89%
● IBEX 35 INDEX (Spain) - lost 21.59%
● CAC 40 INDEX (France) - lost 20.29%
● DAX INDEX (Germany) - lost 20.57%
● HANG SENG INDEX (Hong Kong) - lost 8.08%
● NIKKEI 225 INDEX (Japan) - lost 15.99%
● NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX (USA) - lost 14.82%
● UK100 (United Kingdom) - lost 17.76%
● EURO STOXX 50 Index (European Union) - lost 20.74%
Main cryptocurrencies performance for the past week:
● Bitcoin - lost 40.15%
● Ethereum - lost 45.88%
● Litecoin - lost 42.17%
It is likely that many economies will go into recession. Unfortunately, even the immediate future is quite unpredictable at this point.
Once you’ve taken the proper precautions to protect your physical health from the Coronavirus, you should consider taking some steps to protect your finances, as well.
Here are our top tips for protecting your finances during a pandemic:
● Hold onto cash and gold
● Cut back on non-essential spending
● Prepare a cash reserve in case you cannot work
● Do not make irrational decisions (selling stock, making unreasonable purchases, etc.)
● Buy stocks while the market is at rock bottom
Please note that these tips are educated opinions and not advise from certified financial advisors.
We know that this situation is quite unsettling. Our hope is that the Coronavirus is contained and cured before the damage becomes worse.
Please follow canada.ca for official Coronavirus updates.
From the Remitbee family to yours, we wish you great health. Protect your finances, but protect your family first.
Don’t forget to wash your hands!