EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

COVID-19 Are we F*cked ?

in Inflation, Interest Rates, Investments, Leading Indicators, Mistakes

This is being written during March 2020 the COVID-19 Pandemic. At the time of publishing things were quite confused and unsure, but this is my simple opinion of where we in Canada may stand financially.

We are f*cked.

Is this me being overly alarmist? I hope so, but there are countless areas that are not likely to ever recover from the Pandemic.

Travel and Vacation Industry

Dead.

  • The Air BnB industry and that side dodge is done. People will not be travelling much, for the next year or two. What happens to all those condos in Toronto that were bought with that in mind?
  • Cruises and Cruiselines? Good night, they are now synonymous with the Pandemic, if they recover it will be not in the near future.
  • Travel bloggers? Freebies are not going to be given out much, I think this gig is going to curtail or die off too. At this moment, Las Vegas is closed. This is not the W.C. Fields joke about visiting Philadelphia, this is Vegas, which never closes.
  • Airlines? These may recover if business travel returns, but they are going to take a beating, and will ask for a bail out.

Real Estate

F*cked

  • Construction sites are shutting down, thus screwing up the whole system.
    • People who are buying the new properties need to sell, but will have nowhere to go.
    • No one is buying a house right now, and when will they start?
  • Mortgages are being called and payments are being missed, renters are not being given reprieves either. What happens next? People being kicked out on the street? I doubt it, but you really don’t know right now.
    • Big wave of homelessness? I hope not, but the economic models aren’t there for this.
  • Over priced real estate may soon be worth less than their financing (i.e. mortgage), will we seeing folks walking away from their expensive high-rise downtown condo?

The Stock Market

F*cked currently having daily circuit-breaker calls.

  • Advisors are telling their customers to sell now, thus locking in their losses. They are following the buy high, sell low credo, that is not synonymous with getting rich.
  • FIRE and the entire early retirement craze should be forgotten for now. The markets have eviscerated those lofty goals for now.
  • The markets may rebound completely as it did in 2008, but surprisingly not as many folks got rich on that rebound as you might think.

Employment

F*cked, we had a weird job dynamic already, (the side gig world) but now it is F*cked.

  • My kids’ generation has had to have 3 part-time jobs to add up to a full time job, but none of those jobs exist right now. Restaurant jobs, are gone mostly due to the restaurants being closed. Retail jobs are gone, stores are closed.
  • The growth industries are:
    • Delivery, that is about it. Everything is being delivered now, but does anyone make any money doing this?
    • Government, because there is going to need to be a big government to deal with a broken country. Is this a good thing? I don’t think so, but I am a small L libertarian.
    • Debt, the world of debt is going to explode in terms of big money. Payday Loans, alternate loans and Bankruptcy Trustees are going to make big money in the short and mid term.
  • Will industries other than Travel go in the crapper? Lots of potential there
    • Retail, when folks don’t have a job, they aren’t going to be buying a lot of stuff.
    • Cars? If interest rates stay low, they may be OK, but if interest rates go up, this could make folks keep their old cars.
    • Oil and Gas already is in the crapper, with gas at 70 cents a litre, which makes it not worth working on the Oil Sands in Alberta.

Inflation

Coming, much like the four horsemen.

  • Governments are injecting Infinite money into the economy to try to prop it back up. I am not an economist, but even I know this is the recipe for Inflation (ever hyper-inflation). If money loses value, prices go up. Most folks don’t remember the 1970’s but this could be where we are heading (if not worse).
  • If we end up in an Inflationary spiral Interest Rates will have to be used to control things, and that is a world many folks have not lived in. I have seen 19% CSB’s in my lifetime, will I see them again?
  • Predatory loan companies making money on this? Absolutely.
  • Bankruptcy trustees may not be able to keep up with the tsunami coming at them.

Alarmist Clap Trap?

I really hope so. I hate to think we are financially f*cked as badly as I am guessing we are, but these are uncharted financial waters. I am not an economist, but I have lived for 60 years, and seen a lot of financial changes, and this one has me scared.

I hope we all come out of this with our health, and if we have that, all this other stuff can be dealt with, in some fashion or another.

Remember when we said, Get Out of Debt, it gives you options? This is what we meant.

What to Do?

First thing, take this article as simply a warning of what could happen. Next, make a plan for your financial world for:

  • The next week, what are you going to spend on? Why? Can you afford it?
  • The next month, assuming this stays the way it will.
  • Six Months, where hopefully around Autumn things start to turn around in terms of normalcy.
  • An overall recovery plan.
    • How are you going to recover your savings?
    • What is your retirement plan, given what has happened?
    • How do you plan around something like this happening again?
      • Hint: GET OUT OF DEBT !

{ 12 comments }

  • goldblockcareer March 25, 2020, 6:11 PM

    This is great, thank you.

    Reply
  • The Term Guy March 25, 2020, 11:35 AM

    Eh, I’m not so sure this is apocalyptic bad.

    Real estate is an adjustment. I expect some changes in attitudes (as you noted, airbnb, plus reduction of ‘landlords’ speculating in Toronto) but it’ll get back to normal eventually.

    Markets will not remain abysmally low forever. We’re going to get back to work eventually. Again, an adjustment as tourism will be impacted – but tourism had a hit almost as big after 9/11. We have an entire tourist town that died after 9/11. Point being, we’ve already seen a huge blow to tourism and recovered, with changes.

    Govt spending should help soften the bottom. And there’s people sitting on cash waiting to buy the dip – that has potential to soften the bottom of the markets as well. There’s cash out there.

    I think it’s possible that this isn’t the worst thing that you and I have seen. I remember very elevated stress levels after 911. I had active thoughts about nuclear war impacting Toronto, and then what do I look after my family? Similiarly after 1999, there were concerns about society collapsing. This pandemic is bad, and it will impact the economy and culture. But we will be over the hump here in a year or so. And that means that really we’re going to be limited to economic turmoil, and yeah, that’ll recover soon enough.

    It’ll be fine. The world’ll keep on turning, lessons will be learned, we’ll see another day.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman March 25, 2020, 11:37 AM

      I want to believe you, I really do, but the HUGE injection of money worries me. Not saying you are wrong (neither of us will know for another year), and hoping your analysis is good (hell it is clearer than my rant).

      Reply
      • smayer97 March 25, 2020, 12:01 PM

        This “pandemic” is WAY overblown and is FAR from bad. There is just NO context being provided around this virus (just do the research about the scientifically published numbers and trends from reliable sources, e.g. CDC, etc, and you will quickly see what I mean). Rather than good education and sensible reactions there is far too much hysteria feeding fear into many souls. That and the economic impact will be long lasting, financially and mentally, setting a new “normal”…

        Though we will come back from this mess, SARS in 2002/2003 brought us wide spread use of hand sanitizers and the use of fist bumps. I am more concerned about what this insanity will bring us next.

        This is a case where the “cure” is FAR WORSE than the disease.

        Reply
        • bigcajunman March 25, 2020, 12:05 PM

          I gotta disagree on that one. Overblown? That is a dangerous word to use as well. I live near a park, and people continue to let their kids play on the playground. The findings on the cruise ships say this virus lives on surfaces for a very long time. I think being prudent and the current reaction is prudent. I think the US is lining itself up to be out for over a year, if they think they are going to get “back to business” by Easter.

          Again, in 6 months we can see who is right, and who is wrong. I’ll buy you a coke if you turn out to be right.

      • smayer97 March 25, 2020, 12:28 PM

        Sure thanks…but believe me, if you do the research, you will be surprised by what you find…Several epidemiologists and other scientists have been speaking out too, and they know even more than my relatively simple research.

        Rate of contamination, rate of death, which demographics are most affected and the impact on those vulnerable populations, etc.

        Here are a very small sample of eye-popping sets of facts to consider just from the CDC alone:
        https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm
        https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/past-seasons.html

        Then compare that to the public stats on COVID-19:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgylp3Td1Bw&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0huFCggQNlRzwlFugUe4TLp2zzhKY5zN-OguXAW_Qbc6sa4dWV16vJBfk
        https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

        And BTW, those 65+ are ALWAYS the most vulnerable to these types of viruses…death rate is ALWAYS high at about 65-85%, no different than the common flu… Nothing new (let that digest for a moment). (don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this is the same as the flu…just the impact). So then when you study Italy, things make more sense.

        The facts so far just do not bear out. Time will tell for sure…

        What is lacking in all of this is perspective and context. And I learned long ago…a text without a context is a pretext…like the Trudeau gov’t trying to secure sweeping unfettered power for 2 years WITHOUT Parliament oversight (THAT failed to pass).

        Reply
        • bigcajunman March 25, 2020, 12:49 PM

          Excellent counter, I like this kind of intelligent discourse.

          My personal world is HIGHLY under threat due to many loved ones who are in the vulnerable groups, so my perspective is skewed in that direction (full disclosure).

          Let’s agree to disagree for now (although I do appreciate your feedback here), and we’ll come back in a while and see where we are (and I do hope you are right).

        • smayer97 March 25, 2020, 1:20 PM

          Thanks. And I appreciate what you mean, aging parents, compromised individuals, and all. I hope your loved ones fare well.

        • bigcajunman March 25, 2020, 1:21 PM

          And thank you for the discourse!

  • smayer97 March 25, 2020, 8:59 AM

    I really DO appreciate your writings but must we resort to expletives? I know you are better than that. 😉

    Reply
    • bigcajunman March 25, 2020, 9:06 AM

      Agreed, but extraordinary times do on occasion call for more forceful talk. Apologies to the more sensitive, this was meant simply as a statement of force.

      I also have been reading a lot of my old writings from 2005, and I actually did swear back then, my apologies for that as well.

      Reply

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