Every month, I publish an investment note called Ivan’s Reflection. The purpose is to document my thoughts about how to invest now so I can review if they are right and wrong in the future. This creates transparency for my clients and people who are interested in my investment management services. It also forces me to be accountable for my investment decisions so I can improve the process.

The coronavirus has occupied much of our mindshare in recent days. Who has thought that a roll of toilet paper and a bag of rice will be the best CNY gift? Jokes aside, we need to understand that this is not the end of the world and just a ripple for the financial market.

Will there be an impact on Singapore and the global economy? Definitely!

But it is not going to be permanent or even long-lasting. That is why on Jan 30, I wrote an article on my analysis of coronavirus’ss impact on the stock market.

I told you that if you were to panic sell your investment, you will sell at one of the worst prices. True enough, both GMC Income Portfolio and GMC Growth Portfolio have rebounded sharply and hit a new high.

The coronavirus is a “black swan” event, but the real damage is not going to be caused by it. It is the “grey rhino” which we all know (A grey rhino is a “highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat. Grey rhinos are not random surprises, but occur after a series of warnings and visible evidence”). For example,

  • Excessive debt level due to the low-interest rate.
  • Artificially supported stock market through share buybacks.

As far as I can see, the market still chooses to ignore the grey rhino for now.

A jam break for the global stock market rally

Intuitively, China’s stock market was hit the most due to the coronavirus. And it did have a brutal start on Feb 3 (Monday) with 9% loss. Although it has recovered swiftly, the upside momentum has been broken.

I believe the market has already anticipated that the peak of the virus infection will hit the second week of Feb and the Monday price level is likely the near term bottom.

Impact on the global supply chain is unclear

The interesting thing is how the global stock market has shrugged off the panic and continue to rally. US stock market even hit new hit in the past week. This may mean either all the “global emergency” panics may be an overreaction, or the market has not figured out the real economic impact due to the crisis. I believe the first. We need to remember that

We cannot trust what the newspaper says, but we can trust where the money flows. – Ivan Guan

Income assets back to favour

As the growth forecast dampened, income assets are in favour again. That is why GMC Income portfolio has done extremely well in the past two weeks.

In the past few months, the market sentiments are shifting at a lightning speed.

  • Prior to Sep – Income focused strategies did well.
  • Oct to Jan – Growth focused strategies did well.
  • End of Jan till now – Income focused strategies did well again!

US treasury bond yield drops to the lowest since October. It means the price of investment-grade bonds has been increasing.

The high yield bonds and emerging market bonds are also doing well.  

Healthcare sector – the expected and unexpected

In my Jan 2020 updates, I already talked about the healthcare sector and we had 10% allocated to the stock portfolio.

It is healthcare’s turn anyway and the coronavirus just accelerated this progress. Below is the performance of the fund which I chose to allocate into the GMC Growth portfolio.

Global infrastructure spending – the unavoidable

I also talked about infrastructure stocks in my Jan 2020 updates. The global central banks are already struggling to keep the economy afloat. With the hit due to the coronavirus, they will definitely beef up fiscal spending to “save the market”.

If you are interested in understanding more about my investment management services and how the GMC portfolio works, submit your request below for a non-obligatory investment discovery meeting.

About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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