Monthly Market Update:
Recap of April 2020
Thank you for tuning in. I’m Eric Powell with RightPlan financial and our new division, The Future Mill. I hope you are healthy and safe during these unprecedented times. Let’s start by making it clear that April is over. What seemed like one year wrapped up in one month, a lot has happened and we have a lot to cover. Grab a cup of coffee, soda or whatever drink you prefer, have a seat and let’s see what exactly happened over the past month in the stock market and overall economy.
For the month of April, the market made quite the rebound off of its low on March 23rd, though the hard numbers show a battered economy. Unemployment rates are nearing 10% and the US GDP contracted 4.8%, imports and exports were down and consumer spending was down as well.
Though that doesn’t sound very good, we have to take into consideration that the country and most of the world has basically taken a short vacation from their normal lives. With local governments beginning to partially open their states and the media sharing we are flattening the curve, optimism of the economy getting back to normal helped drive the market rebound along with government and fed funding that is trying to float both individuals and businesses while everything is shut down.
For the numbers, the April S&P 500 was up 12.82%, the Dow up 11.22%, Nasdaq up 15.49%, MSCI EAFE up 6.46%, MSCI Emerging Markets up 9.16%, Barclays US Aggregate Bond up 1.78%, Barclays US Corporate High Yield up 4.51% and Barclays Municipal down -1.26%.
The numbers for April feel really good and everyone has a prediction on where things go from here. Now I can take ample time to go over those predictions, along with what the government has done to help the markets over the past month and talk about the millions of opinions that I have seen on both the news and social media, but none of that will change where we are currently. Instead, we must focus on what we can control.
That said, here are three tips for what you can try to control:
Your health. I know this isn’t a tip on your finances, but it is the most important piece. Sure, you can have an unexpected health issue, but overall, you are in control of your health. Controlling both your physical and mental health in times like this will help cope with the uncontrollable areas of life and this will also help to make the other two tips easier.
Spending. It is easy to get both bored and or frustrated in moments like this and the wallet takes the brunt of it. Consider taking a day before you purchase any item that is not a necessity. Think through your purchase and ask yourself if you really need what you are buying.
Financial Emotions. The stock market has been like a roller coaster at a theme park, quickly going up, then down, then up. It is not easy to watch your money bounce all around and it can create an uneasy feeling. These are times to lean on the experts and also on your financial plan.