I’m surprised at our country’s current state of the coronavirus pandemic. We – as Americans – are obviously doing something very wrong: we’re not wearing masks; we’re not social distancing. Yet those two things are very impactful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus: using masks in public; staying six feet away from others.
The tragedy of it is that it’s a simple formula to suppress the coronavirus. (Wear masks and social distance.) We don’t need any special skills or technology to avoid spreading the virus. The solution is simple. But, apparently, it’s not easy.
Said another way, to avoid spreading the virus, one must remain disciplined. That means wearing a mask every time you step outside. And limiting the number of times you step out of your front door.
Successful social distancing means passing up everything that sounds appealing right now: hanging out with friends, going out to restaurants, bars, and the movies.
For me, being disciplined means not just the above, but also skipping jiu-Jitsu. Do I miss jiu-jitsu? Of course? I am getting measurably fatter now that I don’t have a daily workout that I enjoy? Absolutely. Will you find me in a jiu-jitsu studio anytime soon? Nope!
How long will the coronavirus be impacting our lives? Given the United States’ current response to the pandemic, possibly a very long time. So, in addition to being disciplined – depriving myself of the many fun things I want to do – I need to do another thing: be patient. (I really want to go see Tenent when it comes out. But, I’ll wait until I can see it online.)
In short, one needs a truckload of both patience and discipline to weather the current coronavirus pandemic, to do their part to contribute to the suppression of the virus. What you don’t need is any sort of particular skill or special technology.
Does that remind you of anything?
Value Investing Isn’t Easy
On the Twitternets of late, I’ve seen many posts about value investing: about how value investing is dead; about how value has underperformed growth for any number of periods; or even about how value is now attractively priced relative to growth, because of it’s very long recent underperformance.
Listen to Jeremy Grantham Explain the Slow Death of Value Investing Better Than Anyone— Ritholtz Wealth (@RitholtzWealth) June 12, 2020
“GMO’s Grantham’s amazing in this interview. It’s loaded with lots of other stuff he’s thinking about…”https://t.co/lYv5Jl7hm1
by @ReformedBroker pic.twitter.com/g0UlojkPnO
I can’t say that a little underperformance has ever swayed me from investing. If anything, it makes me want to buy more. (I did.) After all, that’s what it takes to be a successful value investor (or any buy-and-hold investor): patience and discipline.
Summon Your Patience and Discipline to Get Us All Through the COVID Pandemic
My first deep dive into investing taught me the value (pun intended) of patience and discipline. I will continue to leverage that skill set to do my part to help stomp out the coronavirus. For me, that means always wearing a mask in public, limiting my exposure to other people, etc. (I even play a little game while walking the dog: I immediately head the other direction when I see someone not wearing a mask headed my way.)
Hopefully, a greater proportion of the United States’ leadership will push for more measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, with that leadership encouraging the citizenry to summon both patience and discipline.