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COVID-19 Update from Withum Wealth Management

Last night, the President addressed the country in a live broadcast announcing measures which included increased stimulus for small businesses and suspending travel from Europe to the U.S. in efforts to control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As we are learning, this virus is indiscriminate. The NBA decided to suspend their season until further notice after at least one player tested positive for the Coronavirus. In Australia, actor Tom Hanks and his wife actress Rita Wilson have also been diagnosed with the virus. This virus is going to change the way our families, workforce, government, schools and commerce will operate for the foreseeable future.

Withum Wealth Management (WWM) will be operating under 3 guiding principles during this heightened alert period:

  1. Keep WWM employees, clients and business partners safe.
  2. Continue to serve WWM clients with the highest standards.
  3. Do our part to slow community spread of the virus, so that the most vulnerable people are able to get the care they need.

It is likely we will see an increasing number of cases, consisting of both every day and high-profile people as testing continues and expands more widely over the next several weeks. It’s equally likely we will see many closings and cancellations, out of an abundance of caution, which may lead to additional disruptive activities to individuals and businesses. While nothing may compare to the events of 9/11 and the days, weeks and months that followed, expect the economy and business activity, like then, to slow dramatically.

For more information on this topic, please contact a member of the Withum Wealth Management Team.

Every crisis will have its own script. However, we anticipate, there will be bi-partisan fiscal and health-related support that will help ease some of the pains, stresses, and undue hardships families and businesses may be encountering. It will be difficult to pinpoint an exact bottom in financial stock prices as fear and false positives may take a while to settle down. As history has shown after previous steep market declines (Oct 19, 1987 plunge and 9/11 shock), look for major companies to announce splashy, hopefully highly accretive, buybacks. The Fed must continue to do its job of creating financial liquidity, and today, they announced an increase in the amount of money they make available to banks in overnight lending. Additionally, look for when Warren Buffet type investors deploy some of their large cash holdings. We would view any combination of these scenarios as a positive for future stock prices.

As stewards of the client’s assets, we have plans in place to ensure a continued ability to manage and monitor assets. We have multiple locations outside of NYC and will be asking all employees to decide for themselves where they prefer to perform their normal work operations. Each member of our team has remote and secure access to effectively perform their work functions.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

Withum Wealth Services

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website is one of many good resources providing frequently updated information about travel risk mitigation best practices and current risk levels in various global regions. See https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

Important Disclosure: Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Withum Wealth Management. [“WWM”] or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this article/newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from WWM. Please remember to contact WWM in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services. WWM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the WWM current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

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