Good Thursday morning! Another week and much more we could say, but we’re mostly writing to wish you a happy Easter.
To say it’s been an eventful past seven weeks would be an understatement to say the least. The pace and scale of global change is unprecedented and the way we’ve felt and experienced it is on full blast with the breathless and pervasive media coverage. We wrote our first of what has become weekly missives a week into the market turbulence created by the coronavirus and we’ve had the opportunity to reflect together on many different aspects of this truly historic period. In the month from 2/19 to the market low on 3/23 the broad U.S. stock market dropped 34%, the quickest decline of that magnitude in history. In the three weeks since, the market has rebounded 23% from that low through yesterday and is rallying more today as we write, even as 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment. Next week we plan to issue quarterly portfolio reports and we’ll expand a little more on the market and how we’re responding.
For today and heading into Easter weekend we’re thinking about the tension between resistance and growth. While health officials predict this may be our most difficult week of the pandemic, we also see distinct reasons for hope, curves flattening. It’s noteworthy that this juxtaposition comes at the time that holy week and Easter are also being recognized and celebrated around the world. Regardless of your faith persuasion, it’s a time for those who celebrate its significance to reflect on the idea of new life rising/emerging from suffering. Even for those not celebrating Easter, this pattern of growth through resistance and difficulty can be widely recognized in our experience of the world around us. Fitness gains come through challenging our bodies with a walk, run, or more weight on the bar. New life breaks through in a forest after it burns. Beauty from ashes. Those of us with a reasonable amount of experience under our belt know that resistance and suffering is an unavoidable part of life. And yet there’s hope in the midst of it as seeds of opportunity for new growth are there for us to embrace.
This is no doubt a difficult period. Many of us will gather around an Easter dinner table that looks and feels different this year. Regardless, it will be an opportunity to share a meal and hope together.
And so we end with what we set out to do, and that’s to wish you a very happy Easter.