As many of you are aware, the stock markets are in freefall. The FIRE mantra is hold on tight and don’t sell. I must admit I’m struggling with this advice at this time. I have not blinked yet but there is a slight feeling of panic.
In my real life, I had a bit of meltdown on Monday night when I tried to go to see Book of Mormon. I thought I’d take advantage of the cheap tickets so bought two tickets for me and the girlfriend at 15:30 for that evening’s show. We went out, grabbed a bite to eat in a near-empty Thai restaurant and then upon arrival at the theatre found it had been closed by the government.
That event really scared me and I couldn’t really sleep that night for worrying. I decided I was not going to go out to work that day. The next morning I cancelled all my trips booked on Air BnB as they were allowing full refunds.
I’ve calmed down a bit now, and after 4 days of working from home, everything seems OK. I went for a meeting (outdoors) yesterday where I cycled and kept my distance from the other people there and found that London was ridiculously busy. Traffic seemed normal and there were hundreds of people around.
They shut all the pubs, cafes and restaurants last night. I believe this is reasonable and probably not even going far enough. No one is bothering to heed the warnings. Who are these people out and about? I suppose it is people who have to work somewhere and can’t work from home. I do believe there are a number of people not taking responsibility for their actions. Perhaps they haven’t had the moment of realisation that I had on Monday but I really think the closure of pubs must send that message loud and clear.
As for my investments, I am really tempted to try and rebalance my portfolio away from the States. I’m about 50% in with VUSA at the moment. I think the US is heading for catastrophe as they do not seem to be taking any measures to protect businesses.
What is freaking me out is the time it will take for this to recover. We are going to take years to get back to where we were before. The fall in 2008 took about 10 months to reach the bottom. See graph below. That’s why I’m thinking sell now and buy-in once it’s lower. It’s all rather depressing. Of course, on the other hand, I really don’t know what I’m doing so this could be a terrible idea and the market may have already priced in the upcoming disaster in the USA.
Hard to know what to do tbh. Open to ideas!
On a plus point, I’ve finally got my big article about paying off debts. Might be bad timing but I wanted to share how I got rid of my debts last year. I’m sitting very comfortably as a result and am grateful for having done this.