How Our Family Is Negatively Impacted By The Coronavirus Crisis

Instead of telling you how my family is doing OK during the coronavirus crisis, I wanted to share with you how our family is being negatively impacted by the coronavirus. I'll then provide another update one year into the pandemic.

From going through a logical exercise on how to predict a stock market bottom to providing suggestions on how to better work from home, I have been accused of being too calm and hopeful during this difficult time period. Instead of remaining optimistic, I should wake up from my dreamworld bubble and face the reality that doom is upon us.

Even though I've only heard from a few people online who have lost money in their investments (just read all the comments from people who said they were 100% in cash or short before the crash etc), I'm assuming there are some of you out there who are feeling the crunch. Maybe some of you are even a little scared about the future.

If so, I can see how my disposition can irk you. Let me attempt to mix things up.

Note: I originally wrote this post on March 20, 2020. Obviously, things have recovered a great deal since then. However, life is not 100% back to normal.

Finding Joy In The Suffering Of Others

During times of fear and uncertainty, the people who are hurting the most tend to lash out at others, especially online. Civility dissolves into nothingness as strangers attack strangers to help deal with their personal demons.

One of the consistent things I've noticed since starting Financial Samurai in 2009 is readers, regular and new, find joy in my suffering and the suffering of others. Because I'm pretty transparent with what decisions I make with my money, when things don't go well, I thereby enable people to make fun of me or kick me when I'm down.

Below is an example of a reader taking joy in my underperformance as described in a mid-2019 weekly newsletter. In the newsletter, I admit that I was too conservative with my then ~30/70 equity/bond asset allocation. But after a rocky December 2018 and a healthy recovery by the end of 1Q2019, I wanted to take down my risk exposure.

Making fun of Financial Samurai

Keeping Things Real

You may find this strange, but one of the reasons why I'm relatively transparent with my finances and financial failures is because it brings some people joy. And bringing joy to others makes me happy.

In the workforce and online, I've had to deal with countless bullies. I've been called plenty of hateful names. The common denominator all these antagonists have in common is that something is bothering them enough to throw prickly bombs. I feel their pain because I've gone through many painful experiences as well.

It is also a human affliction to delight in the suffering of others (schadenfreude). It is much easier to try and bring someone down than it is to take action to improve your situation. Unfortunately, our hyper-competitive world has only increased the amount of schadenfreude.

Hopefully, the difficulties my family is going through will help make you feel better about your situation. Perhaps you will find solace that you are not alone during this time of great hardship.

My goal since starting Financial Samurai in 2009 has always been to educate, entertain, challenge conventional ways of thinking, and make you feel more confident about your finances.

Related: Once You Have F You Money, It's Hard To Tell Others To F Off

How Our Family Is Being Negatively Affected By The Coronavirus Crisis

1) We lack income stability from full-time jobs.

Not only do we not have jobs that pay us a steady salary with subsidized health care, but we are also going to have a much more difficult time finding jobs if things continue to worsen. If and when employers do decide to hire again, they will first try to hire people who already have jobs to “upgrade” their workforce. Then they'll look for people who were recently laid off in a relevant field. During a bear market, folks like my wife and me are at the bottom of a thousand-resume pile.

Potential unemployment claims surging due to the coronavirus

At the beginning of 2020, I had a goal of getting back into the workforce to help increase capital and reduce our $2,380/month health care bill. The dream was to accumulate enough so that my family could comfortably retire in Hawaii by the end of 2022. Thanks to the coronavirus, my dreams have been dashed. I must find another way but I'm uncertain how.

2) We're still paying for preschool, despite the closure.

Not only do we have to pay the full $1,950/month for the month of March, even though three weeks have been canceled so far, parents are also being asked to pay full tuition for the month of April. The school could be closed for months longer.

I'm assuming there will be some type of compromise, but families who decide to protest may permanently lose their child's spot once there is a recovery since there is still massive demand to get in. We're talking 100+ applicants for 2-3 spots.

3) We're getting hammered financially more than most.

With the S&P 500 down ~30%, our net worth is down by hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If stocks drop any further, a decline in real estate prices may be next. Shockingly, municipal bond funds have also lost multiple years of gains as well. There's a good chance that by the time the carnage is complete, we could lose well over $1 million.

4) Financial Samurai traffic is down ~20% YoY.

Instead of Financial Samurai benefitting from fear and uncertainty in the stock market and economy, it looks like more people would rather stay as far away from anything finance-related as possible. It feels better not to look at your finances when they're getting clobbered, so people don't.

People also tend to stop trying to educate themselves as it's simply too painful a time period. With a decline in traffic comes a commensurate decline in revenue. If finance-related companies start shutting down, revenue will decline even further.

One silver lining is that because Google searches for “unemployment benefits” have spiked, so has the increase in book sales for teaching people how to negotiate a severance. In such situations, you want to negotiate a severance well ahead of any tidal wave of layoffs because the people who negotiate first get the largest benefits.

5) Our mountain rental property will be negatively impacted.

The Resort where we own our condominium shut down in the middle of March. The timing is terrible since the snow has been dumping and winter is the highest revenue season of the year. Yet, the HOA dues and mortgage remains fixed. Hopefully, with nobody going, The Resort will lower the monthly HOA/maintenance dues, but I doubt it. This is a double whammy that may last for months.

Thankfully, in mid-June 2020, the Resort finally opened back up. However, visitors are few and far between. I think it's time for us to go back up mid-week as a family!

6) We have two children under three to protect.

Life was on easy mode when we didn't have children. We could easily hunker down when it was just the two of us. Now, we've got to ensure that our children are continuously fed, protected and loved.

Imagine having a highly energetic 3-year-old that needs 12 hours of non-stop attention. Now imagine having a precious 12-week-old who has not yet fully developed her immune system during a global pandemic. Difficult mode.

There is no downtime for us, only a heightened sense of responsibility. We must also put on brave faces in front of our children and pretend everything is OK. There is no point letting our dismay spill over to our children's innocent lives.

7) Our parents and in-laws live very far away.

My parents are in their 70s and in Hawaii. My in-laws are in their 70s and in West Virginia and Virginia. If something bad happens to them, we are a day's travel away, if we're still allowed to travel.

One of the main reasons why I want to relocate to Hawaii is so that in case of an emergency, I can be by my parent's side within 30 minutes. When it comes to disasters such as a heart attack, every minute counts.

I'm thankful that at least my parents came to visit for several weeks in December 2019 right when our daughter was born.

8) We have less time to recover financially.

Now that I'm in my 40s, I no longer feel quite as invincible as I did when I was in my 20s and 30s. At 42, I've got 20 years less time to recover than someone who is 22.

For all of you still on your path to financial independence in your 20s and 30s, this is the moment you've been waiting for to build your passive income investment portfolio and try new things.

9) California is under shelter-in-place.

We're not allowed to go to restaurants, bars, events, theaters, work, school, etc for an undetermined amount of time. Even if we could go out, almost everything is closed. Even some of the public parks are now closed.

Spending more time at home is great for building a stronger bond with our children. It's what my wife and I have done since 2017. However, 5 am – 11 pm days can get very tiring after a while, especially when it's not under your own accord. There's a reason why so many best friends no longer remain best friends after a long road trip.

Perhaps one of the most difficult things about shelter-in-place is that we don't know when it will end. Our Governor has said schools might not open until the Fall. The uncertainty is what is most disconcerting. But we will do our part to beat this thing.

As of July 2, 2020, four months in, San Francisco is still under shelter-in-place as a potential second wave hits.

Coronavirus Crisis: The Key Now Is To Survive

The coronavirus crisis is real, even if the stock market is telling us otherwise.

I acknowledge that some folks have it worse than us. And I'm not trying to win the victim Olympics. I'm just sharing what we are currently going through so you know that not everything is sunshine and roses here.

If you're feeling pain from the coronavirus-induced stock market meltdown, I hope my list of things we're hurting from helps make you feel a little better about your situation.

Feel free to use me as a punching bag if you're hurting. I'm used to it. Just try not to be racist because that's where I draw the line.

We can all agree that eventually, most things will bounce back. The key now is to survive until things do. Review your cash and liquidity situation. Review your asset allocation. Cut down on your monthly burn rate. Support your local businesses. And try to be kind to one another.

No matter how bad things get, so long as there's electricity and the internet, I will continue writing to help us eventually come out ahead.

Let me leave you with this hilarious video from an Israeli mom of 4 who is trying to cope with school being closed. Sorry to end things on a positive note. But you got to watch the rant. If you're a parent, it's the best!

Coronavirus Pandemic One Year In

2020 was a doozy of a year. Here's my 2020 review. For 2021, are are glad to all be healthy. I'm no longer getting sick every month because our son is still not in preschool. Our daughter is one years old and doing great. Further, our investments are up a lot.

We're tired of the pandemic, but we will forge on and follow safety guidelines. I'm buckled down, trying to build as much wealth as possible until I get vaccinated or until there is herd immunity. Then, it's GO TIME for enjoying our money and the world to the maximum!

Here are my goals for 2021. Let's go world!

Coronavirus Pandemic Post-Mortem 2023!

The pandemic is finally declared over as of May 11, 2023. It is surreal that we all went through this time period and I decided to write some wins and some regrets we had during the pandemic.

My biggest regret was not seeing my parents more. I'm also sad my kids haven't gotten to know their grandparents. Time is so precious! The pandemic took away at least two visits. We plan to make up for lost time.


Why I Failed At Early Retirement: A Love Story

2Q2020 Financial Samurai Review: To The Edge And Back

The Enjoyment Boom Is Here!

Readers, how are your finances and your life being negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis? Perhaps we can share our stories so we can make sure people know they are not alone during this time of difficulty.

If you don't delight in the suffering of others and appreciate my work, then you can support Financial Samurai at no cost by sharing my articles and recommending my newsletter to people you care about.

141 thoughts on “How Our Family Is Negatively Impacted By The Coronavirus Crisis”

  1. Sam, been on your site for years now. Appreciate your transparency and honesty and can relate as a 40 something year old that has responsibilities for 3 kids, stay at home mom, parents on both sides, 6 god children and being the only person who draws income or manages money. In the weeks following the covid panic early March, portfolio dropped 7 digits in two weeks! Panic ensued, now we are close to pre-panic levels, but I know we are in for many more months of volatility. Good luck and keep up the good work!

  2. Hey! I just joined and hopefully that helps your numbers for April!!!

    Been reading for hours and LOVE what I’ve found so far. This is the time to educate us on how to take advantage of this blip in the market and reassess current portfolios and plan for the next big growth opportunity.

    If you’re feeling the “pinch” now, that just proves you’re one of us and gives us hope we can get to where you were, and will be back to soon. Might take a couple years, slow down and enjoy the new challenge!

    Do it once, you’re lucky. Do it twice, you got some skills!!


  3. Nice read Sam. Don’t worry about all the haters, you bring more clarity and information than a lot of people and have always enjoyed reading your articles.

    This virus has thrown the world on its head and a lot of people have been affected. I haven’t been affected too much as of now, I still report to work every day and my wife was able to work from home. The funny thing is, is as I’ve been actively trying to get away from work through investments and trying to find a way out, I’m not thankful that I’m still in! My wife is going crazy trying to work from home and having the boys (6 &3) home with her full time too.

    It’s weird that traffic to your site is down right now, you would think more people would be using this time to learn personal finance right now. That’s the odd world we live in.

    Hopefully, things get back to normal sooner than later. Keep those kids close and safe, I know mine are going crazy being at home all day. But thankful that everyone is healthy.

  4. Kenny Yeung

    I feel your pain with preschool. Distance learning is impossible with toddlers with poor attempts at 10 minutes of story time each morning via Zoom when the teachers have poor internet connections and dealing with 25 energetic kids wanting some attention.

    Ours has been closed for all but 2 days in March, full tuition of $2650 will not be refunded. April tuition was reduced to $2150 as a gesture of goodwill to parents but no further reductions expected because the owner wants to keep the teachers on payroll. However, it came to light they furloughed most of the staff as one of the parents asked where the other teachers/aids are. I can understand the high tuition with some 1×1 time with each child, especially if they claim all teachers are still being paid. 5 teachers x 8 hours / day = 40 hours of work available. If each kid gets 1 hour, that would be understandable.

    After some parents protested, the owner wrote a haphazard letter about begging the landlord for a rent reduction (they actually own the building through another LLC so they refused to lower the rent for themselves) and needing to keep teachers on payroll and not taking a salary for themselves.

    1. Man, I can’t believe they furloughed the staff. They should disclose what percentage of their costs is their rent. The teachers are obviously by far the most important asset.

      At least they offered a tuition cut. Ours just told us there will be no tuition in May, but we they are open to donations. That’s fair. I will be donating directly to my two preschool teachers to help with their rent.

  5. Geoff Williams

    Thanks for all your great posts Sam! I was down about 10% on net worth, done a bit of buying and now -7% or so, I only had about 20% of net worth directly exposed to stocks. I do have 25% of net worth in a variable annuity with some fund investments; that decision is now looking very good for long-term secure income. I was one of those who felt we were overreacting until I realized we had no flex capacity in our hospitals for beds or ventilators and I learned how awful it was for human lungs to be on a ventilator for 2-3 weeks. I still think we can bring the economy back on line in 2-3 months while managing the case load and protecting the vulnerable and helping with short-term pay for those affected. We have been donating heavily to the Food Bank here in NC and buying from our favorite local restos and grocery stores and tipping the restaurant folks bigtime. I think we will all feel better about taking care of each other after this crisis, will add nurses and doctors to our growing list of Frontline heroes/heroines in our society and my greatest hope is we will get rid of as many stale, dumb, partisan politicians as possible in the next 2-3 elections who only care about themselves and sticking it to their competitors and do not care one bit for people and human progress.

  6. Sam

    I’ve been a frequent reader for about the last 4 years now. I work in finance and naturally was drawn to the content of your site. My original stumbling upon was due to your posting on dividend stocks vs growth stocks. After reading the posting I then poked around only to discover your financial independence content. Needless to say, I was hooked from that moment. For the last four years I have been following much of your advice and aggressively working toward financial independence. That is, until the last few weeks…

    Last July I got engaged to my girlfriend and now fiancée. A few months later we purchase a house and moved in together. My fiancée is self employed and works in the beauty industry. As a result of the coronavirus she can no longer perform her beauty procedure as salons were ordered closed.

    I’ll never forget her coming home and joking “well, I’m unemployed” after walking through the door. More so I will never forget how she (or I for that matter) wasn’t nervous or panicked at all by her loss of income. My soon to be wife is a wonderful person but admittedly tends to stress when it comes to her business despite being very successful. I thought to myself “why aren’t either of us nervous”?

    Through discussion we both realized that we weren’t nervous for nearly the same reasons. First, we live well below our means and save the rest. While we are both blessed with great careers and are higher earners we live off less than one of our incomes. Secondly we knew that while our budget is already fairly low there are “fun” items built in that could be cut should need be. Finally we have over a years worth of expenses in cash as part of our emergency funds.

    I think back to all the small actions we took over the last several years put us in this position. On top of being frugal and saving/investing, more importantly was finding a spouse who shares my same fiscal values and beliefs.

    This experience has taught me that FIRE is not just about having independence at a later date. Sometimes, as it is with us, it can be independence from life’s events along the journey. While I’ve had this goal of attaining FIRE for years, in some sense I’ve already done so!

    Thank you for all the content you’ve created over the years. I hope if nothing less you understand your work has made a difference in my life for the better. Keep up the great work!


  7. We are all hurting in some way, maybe many ways, but like you, Sam, I am remaining focused on the many positives in my life: excellent health, loving relationships, and financial stability.

    I worked in a profession that is crisis based and dangerous, so I am not living in fear, panicking, or future tripping. But I am missing my family and friends. The isolation has been more difficult than I had imagined.

    I enjoy your positivity. Please continue being a bright light during this dark time.

  8. Agreed we are all feeling the pain and stress when things change. The uncertainty is really unnerving for those of us who like to follow a routine and have a plan in place! My wife and I began following your writings several years ago as we started on the journey to early retirement. I retired in April of last year at age 56. In 2017 we sold our rental property in the Bay Area and used a 1031 Exchange (allows you to defer capital gains if you buy like property) to purchase 5 single family homes outside California in TX and TN. This was part of plan to provide a diversified income stream outside the the stock market. We tend to be on the conservative side so we have set aside about $35k in cash to support these properties for vacancies, maintenance etc. We’ll see if that is enough.
    I also follow the advice of a few wise financial economists who have been saying the equities market was way overvalued and fed by a high greed quotient. Additionally that corporations are way too leveraged in bond debt making them vulnerable to downturns in business.
    So we sold mostly out of the stock market in mid 2018 and moved to 80/10/10, Long term treasury fund, equities and cash. The move has paid off as we are up about 10% since Jan 1, 2020 on a $1M portfolio, outside of real estate. I am not conveying this to boast, but to say that the drum beat to de-risk has been pretty loud over the last 18 months. Now that there is a rush to bonds and cash, it looks like time to move in the opposite direction, abet cautiously back into equities.

    Thank you for your insights over the years. I always look forward to your emails!

  9. Hopefully you kept your bond balance.

    I am retired and learned my lessons in 2002 lost money but made most back by 2007 and went to bonds and have been there all this time. Everyone said I was really stupid and that I couldn’t make money in bonds. I remembered a quote that Will Rodgers when a reporter asked him where he kept his money he told them “in bonds” the reporter told him you can’t make any money that way and he replied to him “ you can if you have enough of them “ . Right now I am feeling pretty good, unless the financial ends.


    1. Even with the steep recent decline how does the Cumulative bond return compare to the S&p 500 return over the past 10 year period.

  10. Thank you Financial Samurai for an honest and open post – I hope things work out for you and you get to Hawaii in the next few years. SF is still a wonderful place to live with lots to offer and things will rebound sooner than later. I’ve been going through very similar emotions and actually finding myself reading more of your articles in this downturn and holding my breath patiently – your financial analyses have been really helpful to me in making some critical decisions – so keep those posts coming!

  11. If it makes you feel better, I’m an ICU physician with no paid leave, no hazard pay, no child care while the kids are out of school, and inadequate PPE in an underserved safety net hospital. I wish I were retired. I just come home every day hoping I don’t infect my family. All healthcare workers are stretched so thin to maximize profits that there is literally no room in the system to accommodate an increase in capacity let alone a pandemic. It used to be 2 patients per nurse, then 3, then 4. We haven’t had an increase in nurses or physicians but I have personally witnessed a 4 fold increase in administrative personnel within my own academic department in 3 years. I hope all this leads to some serious reform. The corporatization of education and healthcare will be the death of us.

    1. I feel ya. Have a spouse working in LTC facility and they have a patient that tested positive for COVID-19. Unlike other businesses, they need to keep operating and health care workers need to keep showing up for work. I got a brother doing ER in a COVID-19 tent. He’s self isolated from his family so after working in a hot zone, he can’t even see his family. No hazard pay, no leave. Just like armed services, there is a duty to serve. It does bug me a little that delivery drivers and warehouse workers are demanding double pay while healthcare workers don’t think about trying to capitalize on a crisis and the high demand for their skills (well most of them). On top of that, we crossed 7 figures in paper losses. But we’ll get through it.

  12. When times get tough, the tough get going. I’ve followed you a long time and you’re the best of the best, Sam. Thank you for sharing the negative considerations of this scourge. We retired at the end of February and it’s been tough sledding. Your recommendations are right on. Thank you for putting yourself out there. You’re a scrapper, a fighter, a toughie. . .and a winner. We WILL bounce back. We have to do so. What’s the alternative? God’s blessings on you and yours!

  13. “For all of you still on your path to financial independence in your 20s and 30s, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for to build your passive income investment portfolio and try new things.”

    Sam– In a massive stroke of luck, this statement captures exactly where a lot of my peers and I are at right now. Your site is a wealth of knowledge and full of useful resources, but would you consider providing a specialized guide/play-book of sorts (like your “Ranking the Best Passive Income Investments” article) through the lens of today’s unique situation sometime in the next few weeks/months? …Or would that article stand without many amendments?

  14. All the best Samurai.

    I have 3 little ones with a fourth coming ion June. We live down in San Jose. Like you, I grew up in Hawaii (McKinley HS).

    Love what you do with this site and sharing your thoughts on all these matters.

    God bless!

  15. Hi Sam – another great post. Just to address your comment of “not being racist,” I’m not sure if that is alluding to people using the Chinese as a scapegoat based on the origin of this virus, or just a generality, but allow me to opine anyways: I think there will also be even more increased tension between generations, rather than versus Chinese. In many young people’s eyes we are essentially shutting down the economy to fight a virus that MOSTLY (not absolutely) affects/kills those who are elderly and likely were to die soon anyway. I think the generation of gig-workers and millennial/Gen Z who suffer as the virus’s effects reverberate throughout the economy could cause some serious civil unrest old vs. young. Let me conclude with the fact that I hope I am dead wrong…that neither Chinese-Americans nor the elderly are scapegoated. Although I also hope that we are wary of mortgaging the future for the now, because it could cause irreversible damage that some won’t live to suffer through.

    1. I actually don’t think so, or maybe there already is tension and this won’t change that. It might create some empathy, if they see our elders pass away.

      The snowflake generation were over-helicoptered. They’ve lived in peacetime, or at least where war has been so far away from their doorstep. Our parents and grandparents (I’m Gen X) lived through world wars and the Cold War, plus all other kinds of global stress.

      The snowflakes meanwhile are now perpetually offended and spent a week arguing about what to call the virus instead of actually solving problems. Last week in my part of town instead of staying at home they were having a real laugh at the local bars and cafes.

      So it’s a wake-up call, maybe for us all.

      1. The “snowflakes” kicked off secondary school with Columbine, ended it with 9/11, graduated college at the start of the great recession, and now will endure Coronavirus. So I think your point about peacetime and overprotection misses.

  16. Another great article Sam, I also enjoy reading the comments as much as your writing! I took $300k out of the market, stopped contributing and reallocated the remaining balance to 60/40 in 2017 and missed most of the Trump rally and S&P highs and def had FOMO going in to 2020. We invested in passive MF real estate syndications through an individual sponsor with proven track record through 2008, very conservative underwriting and high cash reserves. I feel confident at this point, but honestly don’t know where this is going…rent default will be our biggest enemy. We are both still working FT and have cash in the bank ready to deploy into VTSAX when the knot in my stomach starts to lighten. There’s no way we would be in this position if it wasn’t for Financial Samurai, never underestimate how much we appreciate you!!

    1. Hi Rachel!

      Glad you are in a strong position through this crash! Hopefully the government will help folks who are most impacted with a strong UBI program that puts money directly in people’s pockets. Rents are a risk, but they tend to be the last to fall.


  17. Sam – As many have shared, thank you for your sincere transparency. While, there is a gain for your effort in maintaining Financial Samurai, for me & many others, your articles have presented insightful appreciation on Financial Planning & Investment. Please continue to lead us. For all those who leave comments, at the end of the articles, thank you to y’all too. You have been an equal teacher to me & others. I find a family in here.

    As a background, am 45 years with 17-20 years for retirement. As I work for a state government with pension plan, just started 4 & 1/2 years ago, that will provide decent pension from age 60 onwards, have been primarily exposed to equities in the market. My goal is not to need the investment portfolio to meet our retirement needs. My wife maximizes her 401k and I maximize my ROTH 403B and 457. The later 2 are tax deferred. We have a 14 year-old whom we have been contributing to 529 since she was 3 years. Looking at her portfolio, love compounding average:) Her portfolio has been equities centered too.

    Our portfolio has dropped by 28.4% since the market peak. To be precise, abt $300K:( Not fun. There have been many times that I have kicked myself hard that I could have been lesser equity centered. Water under the bridge. I regularly look at the last 100 years market trend and comfort myself:)

    Am actively considering selling all or good chunk of the portfolio and redeploying when the market softens further. If this happens, at least, I have better opportunity to redeem my losses. Will love yours and others thoughts.

    Btw, I work in a Health System where we are actively screening and treating Covid-19 patients. Have had health workers be impacted and quarantined. While, they certainly speak & exhibit their fears rightfully, My respect for my colleagues has gone up multiple levels.

  18. Frugal Bazooka

    Your blog typically permeates w Spockian logic and in these uncertain times, logic can be comforting so thanks for that.
    Suddenly we’re living in a precarious world and I’m guessing few of us have had time to fully process exactly where this will go esp on the financial side.
    Our portfolio has taken a 6 figure hit, but I learned a valuable lesson over the past 3 weeks: some bond funds lose just as much and as fast as any stock based funds. The jokes on me, since I thought I was being conservative w my 60/40 bonds to stocks allocation. I’m suddenly much better versed in truly conservative bonds, but tuition for that lesson alone was equivalent to 8 years at Harvard. Despite the pain of losing so much money I’m upping positions in a few dividend stocks and high yield dividend mutual funds. I won’t give up on the US stock market no matter what happens…investing in the market has allowed me to pay off my house, buy new cars, loan friends and family money, go on ridiculous vacations and gain peace of mind financially that my job could never give me. I owe the stock market a lot and whether it comes back right away or not, I’m buying…much slower than before, but buying nonetheless.
    Live long and prosper!

    1. Hey man, joke is on me too as I thought holding AA-municipal bonds would hold up like a rock during a bear market. I did not anticipate local governments shutting down to combat a virus and therefore, hurt local revenue!

      I won’t give up either. Just learn and recalibrate for the future.

  19. I do feel like a lot of us were defensive positioned because we are reading these sites. We all heard how much cash Buffett had, etc. Wuhan virus is truly a black swan event, but even without it we were due a correction. I think the “set it and forget it” life index fund 401k holders that are put into a 401k by employers are the ones that had no wee inkling at all. No one I work with has looked at their 401k. They weren’t looking before this either, so maybe don’t know. Ignorance is bliss.

    Bad news:unfortunately I think we have more to go.

    Anecdotal evidence on the ground take it for what you will:
    -I have seen a lot of people going to bank and maxing out their cash advance. Anywhere from 700 dollars to 10k. Whatever they can get. Perhaps because of last go round when credit card companies cut credit lines drastically and suddenly, they are getting ahead of the game.
    -People are also withdrawing large amounts of cash. Not a great idea in this day and age. But they are taking out 10k-20k. Be warned cash in very dirty. Other countries are cleaning theirs now. Not USA.
    -Met a lady today who was driving from Marin to Colorado. She got out in the nick of time. She is buying an RV and going to live on a friends land for a year. Has six months food supply.
    -Bullion and bullets are sold out on line.
    -I have heard from medical professionals across the country they are dangerously close to being at zero supplies. Some asking a major company to donate rain ponchos for when they run out of hospital gowns. That’s desperate to me and we are nowhere near peak virus.
    -Met many managers telling me they are going to work to lay off people. Imho, Pick up what work you can now so that you can maybe more easily find a job when this is over. Job losses in places like Florida expected to be around 400k. This is going to be devestating. All we need at this point is a major natural disaster.

    This all says to me we have a way to go. A lot of these people have gone super defensive-investing way more resources and money than most of us would. So we are not the most defensive by a long shot. These people won’t come out of their hideouts for a long time. For the common person though…a lot of people are still denying reality. Think this isn’t bad. Overblown hype. I see a lot of normalcy biases being held hard. When the average Joe finally gets it, things will fall further.
    Do what you can now and be patient. Cut expenses (Like your day care). There will be opportunity but not now.
    Let’s keep sharing information and see how we can get out of this as best we can. I feel like we are on our own. I don’t see a lot of community spirit and kindness out there right now. I see people going to places sick, endangering others and not caring, stealing supplies and in general just being selfish or astonishingly complacent. I can see this leading towards attitudes like “I don’t have to pay my rent for half my lease term” “I can max out my cc and walk away because government said so”. This will lead to more losses.

    Be defensive, but not too.
    Be positioned.
    Be less reactionary. If all really goes wonky, bullion and bullets probably won’t save you anyway.
    Be realistic. The world might not ever really be the same. This may not be a v recovery. We weren’t probably being realistic about the market before this all happened anyway.

  20. I was in college during the ‘08 bust so this is my first experience with something of this magnitude. I am grateful for having found FS and was able to learn as much as I have thus far and before this debacle. About 1-1.5 years ago I changed advisors and went from a 95-5 to a 50-50 stock/bond allocation. Last week I couldn’t take it anymore and the fear overcame me, I liquidated my equities. My portfolio is down about 15%.

    I work in oil & gas, one thing not everyone may be aware of is the hit the industry is taking in the midst of this. WTI was around $60 at the beginning of the year and closed yesterday around $19, and still dropping. Our industry is getting absolutely destroyed. Juggling the market meltdown and how it as affected my retirement, along with coming to the realization that I will more than likely lose my job in the coming months that I’ve had for almost a decade has been mentally exhausting. Not only will I lose my job, I will most likely not ever get it back since I believe American Oil & Gas is finished, forcing me towards a career change. I had never been to worried about making a future career change but giving the path the economy is heading down my anxiety is starting to tick up.
    Financially we are doing ok, I’m well aware better than many. Our house is almost paid off, we have over 50% equity in a rental (Our governor just announced people can’t get evicted during this virus ordeal, inviting all to not pay rent) , and have $125k cash in the bank. But the thought of going jobless in the near future heading into a recession is quite daunting to think about.

    I am 33 with a 4 yro, 2yro, and newborn at home. My wife is a part time nurse who was going to quit her job after maternity leave to stay home with our children, but now that all may change as we will not be able to afford health insurance if I lose my job, (we are currently on her insurance, I was going to pick it up cash out of pocket if she left her job, as I work contract)

    Sam, I love the optimism and insight. There’s plenty of negativity on the net and in the media. I appreciate this write up, but take no joy in hearing of your families trials.

    Hope you and your family stay healthy and safe through all of this.

    1. Hi AT,

      I’m glad you went 50/50 before the crash. And, I don’t blame you for liquidating your equities given the industry you are in.

      Stay well and what a blessing to have your family! Whenever I feel stressed about money, I just spend time with my kids and feel so happy.


  21. Thank you for such an insightful post!

    I’m optimistic we’ll financially bounce back once this pandemic is over. For me, the greater concern is the human suffering and loss of life. Seeing the footage and how serious the situation in Italy has become tells me we’re in for a bumpy ride. Thankfully, the government appears to finally be taking it seriously. We’re all in this together!

  22. I was 98% in T-bills when all this went down. On the plus side, I didn’t lose anything. On the minus side, my T- bills are now yielding zero, so I feel compelled to consider alternatives. Given that the Fed is thowing the kitchen sink at this, and the remedies are actually starting to have negative consequences (e.g. global dollar shortage), this may indeed be a global 1929 credit crisis rather than a run of the mill recession. I am nibbling at stocks that are down 80%, as well as taking 0.25% of my assets nibbles at index funds. When stocks lose 40% of their value, which i believe they will, I will take 0.5% nibbles, and 1% nibbles at, 50% losses. At 60% losses I will take 5% nibbles, etc. If this lockdown lasts 90 days (!!) real estate will take a nice hit, and at that point I will look at real estate.

    1. Good stuff! Another anecdote of someone not losing any money in the downturn. It really seems like a lot of people are fine who read this site. I’m assuming most people you know were in treasury bonds as well.

      Are you retired as well? What is your net worth and age? Thx

      1. I’ve been retired 3.5 years. I sold my hoje in the East Bay in early 2019, feeling something was about to break. I tried to warn people I know. A few of them increased their treasury allocations, while others felt they had a long time horizon, so no need to worry since their time horizon was twenty years and they felt the Fed put was all powerful and a given. In their defense, without a true black swan that cut economic activity by 25% or more for months, the Fed put would have worked for at least another five or ten years.

        1. Cool. Yeah, I think Most everyone I know who is retired has a conservative portfolio, especially after the 10-year run we had. So I do believe most people have invested based on their financial situation, even if it hurts to lose.

  23. Sam, always enjoy reading your content. Sorry to hear about the paper losses you’ve got and the double whammy of expenses. In similar boat: lost half my net worth on paper, largest dividend payer cut it on Friday, and the State where I have most of my real estate assets has made it impossible to evict people who do not want to / cannot pay. Mortgages, taxes, insurance, HOA, etc. is still due.

    On the bright side I’ve never been forced to put together a budget or make the hard decisions on what to cut. Always had more money coming in than expenses or ways to spend it. I think on the bright side, this may be an opportunity for us all in the finance community to reevaluate where we spend our money and eliminate our waste. You may still yet be able to get the Hawaii dream by 2022, you just may need to hustle more and figure out a way to reduce expenses. I’m not looking forward to ripping that band-aid off.

  24. Sam-
    I echo this reply to you-LOVE reading all your detailed posts and the Video was hilarious.
    You are such a positive, caring person who shares your information to the max.
    Please ignore/flip off the haters!!
    You bring so much value to our lives.
    God bless you and your family-Salud!

  25. Hi Sam-

    Long time reader, just wanted to say that your vulnerability and honesty are refreshing and inspiring. I also have a “rambunctious” 3-year-old testing my wife and me through shelter in place and relate to your fear and uncertainty being so much more heightened in this crisis because you have kids. I wish health and safety for you and your family – and a return to normalcy before we all have to watch every single movie on Disney+.


  26. I will cut right to the chase. Our investment portfolio is down 1.2M from the 2/19/20 peak and 1M YTD. It looks better on a % basis where we are down about 15% from the peak and 12.7% YTD. Fortunately, we moved a considerable amount of our 401Ks to bonds in February which is what keeps us from being down where the Dow and the S&P are today. I am retired but my wife still has a very good job so we are grateful for that.

    Let me offer a little perspective in the hope that it will help provide some comfort about these kinds of market declines and the impact on one’s portfolio. I graduated from college in 1979 and it was a horrible time for the economy. Inflation was rampant and interest rates were peaking around 21% during the Carter administration. Since I had no money during this time, I really didn’t feel any personal financial impact other than getting laid off from my first job 1.5 years after graduation but quickly finding another one with a pharma company. A year and a half later I moved into Medical Devices and stayed in that industry for the next 33 years until my retirement in 2015.

    The next negative financial milestone for me was Black Monday in October 1987. I probably had 200K invested at the time and just let it ride right through that bad patch and quickly recovered. Then the internet bubble burst in the early 2000s. We were down about 40% at the peak but again, we just rode it out and came out just fine. At the beginning of 2008, our portfolio was 3.8M. At the end of 2008, it was 2.7M thanks to the sub-prime mortgage mess and near-collapse of the financial system. It was up 27% in 2009 and 22% in 2010 and took off from there. In Q4, 2008 our portfolio dropped 900K but quickly recovered in 2019 and peaked in February 2020.

    My point is that for long-term investors, this is reality if you play in the market. This will get better but I do think it will get a little worse over the next few months. If we flatten the virus curve we will start to see a recovery in the 2H of the year and, with so much cash sitting on the sidelines, a potential boom in 2021. However, if things go worse than planned, a recovery would certainly be delayed but ultimately, it will come.

    Personally, I’m satisfied with my current asset allocation. I had structured it such that in a downturn, our drop would be about half of the market drop and so far that is holding. The allocation as of today looks something like this:

    CASH/CDs 14.5
    BONDS 45.0
    PE 5.8
    REITs 5.2
    ANGEL 3.5 (Mostly invested in my own healthcare startup)
    EQUITIES 26.0
    TOTAL 100

    The only move I am considering is taking out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). We have lived in our home for nearly 16 years and we are just over 10 years into a 15-year mortgage so we have a considerable amount of home equity that is locked up. I found a HELOC that floats with the prime rate so it currently sits at 3.25%. Since rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, I think having this extra reserve set up in case my wife loses her job is worth considering.

    Other than this, we just batten down the hatches and hold tight. Hang in their everyone. I know this too shall pass, just like all of the other times I have experienced over the last 35+ years of investing.

    1. That’s a pretty good asset allocation during a bear market. Congrats!

      I have a lot of bonds too, but I also have a lot of muni bonds which have been smacked. So sad, but I think most munis will be fine, especially with Federal government support.

      Are you investing your wife’s income into the market? How about just having her call it a career and enjoy retirement life together?

      1. Paper Tiger

        The first question you asked about my wife is easy to answer, the second one, not so much ;) She is investing 10% pre-tax and an additional 8% post-tax into index funds in her 401K so she hits the pre-tax limit and then has additional after-tax to invest. We also max out her HSA but right now that just sits in cash. Fortunately, I have a pension and deferred compensation that pays out annually from a former employer so that I at least contribute SOME income to the family nest egg. A year from now, her pension from that same former employer kicks in so that will be a nice bump in income for us.

        With our startup, I chose early on to take equity over salary until we really got the company off the ground. That was 5 years ago and we are close to crossing the chasm from startup to a self-sustaining entity. Most of my part-time work has been raising money through the startup phase and keeping us capitalized until we could generate enough cash flow to maintain our expenses and grow from there.

        As far as my wife joining me in retirement, that does not look to be in the cards right now. She loves what she does and enjoys working. She is almost 4 years younger than me (today is her birthday) and she thinks she still wants to grind for another 5 years or so. A lot will depend on how things go from here but I support her in whatever makes her happy. I have enough going on to keep me busy and out of trouble and our nearly 27 years of marriage has been a good partnership with a lot of give and take around our careers. The way I look at it, she supported me and all of my moves while my career was on the upswing and now I get a chance to support her and all that she wants to accomplish with her career. I think this kind of flexibility in our marriage is what gets us through the tough times.

        Sam, let me just echo what others have said. I enjoy your writing and love the passion and energy you put into it. The financial moves I made in February to somewhat de-risk our portfolio were directly related to things you have written about and I appreciate that “coaching” from you that gave me the nudge to get a bit more conservative when things were near the market top.

        I wish everyone safety and good health throughout the next few months and I really do believe that if we can hold on through this period, we will come out the other side just fine.

  27. If anything good comes out of this crisis, I really hope it will be humility. Of course, I sincerely hope and pray that the health impacts of all this are more limited than what I and many others fear.

    But since this is a financial blog, one thing I will point out is that you didn’t have to be a day-trader or a stock speculator to suffer massive losses this week. Municipal bonds, for instance, are not investments that are day traded or speculated through by average investors (although institutions and hedge funds still do with their ETFs, obviously).

    The average muni bond fund dropped 11% last WEEK! That is nearly the same as the S&P 500’s weekly loss. That is truly staggering. While 10% weekly changes (up and down) in the stock market are not that unusual–and should be considered as the risk you take for the potential outsized returns, there has truly been nothing even remotely of precedent as what we’ve seen in the muni market. Yes, that includes 2008-09 by a huge margin. For a product that in the last ten years has only seen annual gains on the order of 3-5% per year, it did not participate in the huge run up stocks had, yet are being penalized just as much. Maybe stocks are a safer investment after all?

    1. Yes, the muni bond drop has been shocking and one of my biggest disappointments. What you can at last do is add up all the tax-free coupon payments you’ve received so far to offset the losses. Also, if you hold your individual muni bond to maturity, you will be 100% whole if they don’t default of course.

      1. Munis will get worse with all the revenue gone for a month and a -24%+ gdp print in q2 (Goldman’s latest). I fully expect pensions to blow up from this as well all over. If they lose control of US treasury rates….

          1. Excluding my real estate, I was 67 stocks/ 33 bonds before this happened but had started moving into equities at -25-30%. However, I never expected states to start shutting everything down entirely. I took advantages of rallies to get my parents $ mostly into cash but am closer to 80/20 right now. Unfortunately the damage they’ve done by shutting down the states will be far more damaging. It took 60 months for hotels to recover from 15% drop in occupancy. How long. Will a 90% drop take? How many restaurants and other small business will never reopen or will do so with a significantly smaller staff and menu? Will the airlines ever recover? What if this virus comes back or another one? The “cure” will be significantly worse than the virus imo

          2. Samurai, I had 100% of my Thrift Savings Plan in the G fund up until last week, then I moved 5% in the L2040 fund. I will continue to add in 5% increments to the L2040 fund until I get to about 50% of the total, assuming the market continues to track down. But my Roth IRA was about 40% in stocks as the market meltdown started. I have not made any changes with that portfolio. I did have fairly substantial holdings in municipals, but decided to sell most of them last week…they were intended to be relatively stable investments so I got out once I had a total capital loss (including reinvested interest over the last three years) of -1%. I also have owned gold since 2005, and have gradually added an ounce every couple of months through the years. I have been disappointed with its performance compared to the stock market of course, but now, it is one of the few investments that is still UP year over year. As the federal/global debt gets blown out in response to this crises (far far more overreaching than the Great Recession), it may end up being a better investment–especially now since the argument that it doesn’t pay interest is moot…neither does anything else!!

    2. “If anything good comes out of this crisis, I really hope it will be humility”
      Mark,Thank you were saying that.

      I am a conservative investor and have only lost 10% and we have good income.
      But the bragging from real estate and other “risk investors” was really tiring last few years.

      As I like humility, I won’t say I was right this time around. But hope that wave chasers also appreciate conservative investor, We have different mindset… and not mock us for being conservative and fail to chase high tide.

      1. Kevin, Thank you for commenting! I thought I was the only one thinking the ramp in risk assets over the last decade was insanity…400% increase in stocks in 10 years with only 2% annual rises in GDP and CPI only about 2% annually–didn’t make any sense to me. But central banks and/or their designees (member corporate banks, in the case of the Federal Reserve) seemed determined to point the firehose at US stocks. There was plenty of warning over the years, most recently with the bond repo crisis, that was indicative of a lot of rot being kept behind the scenes. But over the years, these signs were ignored as the stock market powered higher. For some time, it seemed like it never had a down day. And the up days were often most pronounced when bad news was announced.

        I make no predictions as to where the market ends up. This looks to be a hybrid version of the 1918 “Spanish” Flu triggering a global depression. Certainly the spread of COVID has been truly astonishing even compared to what was written about the 1918 flu–blame overnight transportation and over reliance on global supply chains.

        But, one thing I’m thinking is out of the tens of trillions of dollars that will eventually be spent providing fiscal stimulus, there will be much public outcry for stock buybacks going forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if the practice is made unlawful, as it was prior to 1982 (and, coincidentally, the start of the 18-year massive stock bull market). This will undoubtedly lower future stock returns as the practice of goosing share values artificially comes to an end.

        In all this, I’m far more concerned about the human toll going forward. I just don’t really know what to think. And I’m sure I’m not alone. I do think however, that the trajectory all our lives had been on has been/will be permanently altered…probably very conspicuously.

  28. Well the upside of the current situation is that the 10yr bond yield is 92bp so you are good to go on a return of 2.76% based on your above tweet calling out a target rate of return that is 3x10yr. Sorry to hear you lost a a bit, but taking a 30% whack on 30% of your nut is onlly 10% overall, so that is actually pretty good! This is more or less where we are at relative to the market high. The important thing here isn’t your absolute dollars anyway….what is important is your realative wealth…since everything is relative. So if you lost less than most you actually gained on them in buying power.

    1. True. In retrospect, staying conservative and trying to follow the first rule of financial independence has help stem the bleeding. However, it is still painful to lose.

      But just like how people will make fun of me for staying conservative on the way up, people will make fun of me for losing money on any risk exposure on the way down. It’s just human nature, but I think it helps some people feel better about their own situation, which is why I will continue to share.

  29. Hi sam,

    Im an avid reader of your website. First of all Having bashers and haters means that you are already very popular and thats good! I find your site very helpful.

    Im from the philippines and just recently in 2019 we bought a property in manila. I feel like an idiot for buying the market top. The good thing about this is that this will be our primary residence as a starting family of 4. So i will just view it as sunk cost.

    On the plus side i have stayed 100% cash on the liquid side meaning no stock or bond investment. Our index is already down 48% off the highs and the last 2 recessions were just 56% off highs. Although no one can call the bottom this for sure is a great opportunity for us millennials to take advantage. I plan to wait for overall sentiment to improve before investing to reduce risk.

    Good luck to all of us and i hope we take full advantage of this crisis unfolding in front of our eyes. More power to you and your family sam, I sincerely believe with your financial background that you will be more than fine!

  30. I admire your willingness to share honestly and be transparent. It’s what makes you such a good writer. For every hater, I’m sure there are at least 10 others that support you.

    Here’s hoping that you and your family make it OK

  31. I really enjoy FS and the tone in your writing. I actually think your insights are a great resource and I appreciate you sharing them for free. I wish you the best of luck. Best from Switzerland (just moved here after 20 years in NYC)

  32. Reverse The Crush

    Thanks for sharing, Sam! I’m sorry to hear about what’s happening for you and your family right now. It’s a tough time for all of us. It must be a lot to deal with day care and with having kids during this time. But at least you’re not living pay to pay like a lot of people. Regarding your YoY blog traffic, I found that surprising as I would have thought it would increase with everyone sitting at home. But I certainly agree about people not wanting to look at their investments during times like this. As for me, my portfolio has been absolutely hammered. I’m feeling a lot less powerful these days. But I’m just holding and plan on incrementally adding to the highest quality stocks at during this time. All the best to you and your family. My blog traffic has actually been increasing a lot the first 3 months of the year. But I guess my blog is about flexible work and blogging in addition to dividend investing. And I have been making an effort to grow traffic. I have no doubt that your traffic will increase in the future. All of us need your investment expertise.

  33. I think it’s hard to be very negative and complain when you are aware of everyone else’s plight. You know the bad coming, but you also know that you have the resources to ride it out for at least a given time.

    I’m most concerned about our hourly workers who are now either at reduced hours or not working period. There are many families that do not have an emergency fund, unfortunately.

    Also wanted to thank you for everything you do on this blog, Sam. Your blog and background is what started my journey toward financial literacy 2 years ago. I am better prepared for the future because of it.

  34. Hi Financial Sumari,

    We are around the same age. Thanks for having this site! These times are hard on everyone regardless of socio economic class, but I do feel hourly workers and people who depend more on government assistance will be heavily impacted. In my household, we are trying to stay sane. My fiancé has lost both of his jobs and I work for a company that inspects nursing homes and apts nationally. I pray for everybody and coworkers everyday for protection against this virus.

    I have 401K and some stock with a few well known banks. I wish I had liquified funds last year. What is recommended for those that have not liquified? You thoughts on this are appreciated and I hope your family the best. I believe that we will be able to survive and tell our grandchildren about this just like some of our ancestors lived through the recession before.

  35. I bought a freezer, filled it full of steak and went 100% cash. I did loose some money but not much. I think this is going to be much worse than people are expecting. 2008 was a financial crisis this is going to be a world wide political and economic disruption making 2008 look like a cake walk. The Vix was > 80 OVX is > 160 GVX >50 TYVX >27 That means the volatility of every non correlated asset class was 5 SD beyond the norm. I’ve NEVER seen that. My state just cancelled ALL elective admissions in the hospitals meaning they are clearing them out for a surge and all restaurants bars the theme parks etc are closed. Unemployment is going directly vertical. The fed has no bullets and interest on the T bill went negative last night for a while. The dollar is spiking and dollar denominated debt is coming due in foreign countries meaning they won’t be able to refi and will go out of business and likely default. The boomers are retired and just lost 40% of their dough so they are going to have to sell more shares to have enough to live on. This will keep stock index prices low as these accounts de-accumulate. The repo market is going crazy. This virus is far more deadly than we have been led to believe and will persist for at least 12 to 18 months. 1929 happened in 2 stages first a 66% loss followed by a 66% loss on what was left. Unemployment peaked at 25% in the depression The government is already predicting 20%. Maybe I’m wrong. If so I still have 95% of my money. I’ve been thinking of buying TIP but right now cash works for me since we are deflating and inflation won’t happen till deflation is over.

    Good luck Sam Kids are the best thing I hope your blog survives and you fare well. I think the whole FIRE narrative has reached its zenith.

    1. I’m with you on all your points. Too bad toilet paper is in short supply because the market is probably going to make our stomachs turn for a while.

  36. I’m not telling you anything by saying the German’s invented a word, schadenfreude, for enjoying the pain others experience. Distressingly I find myself feeling that awful feeling, maybe you do too sometimes. Because as people who are predisposed to prepare we are also very tempted to judge those that don’t. OK, that’s just me you aren’t judgy by nature. Anyway, great post as always. I’ve tried to make the case for rural living in the past, I wonder if being rural is a disadvantage or a plus in this crisis. Or maybe it is both?

  37. Hi Sam,

    After reading your article I spent some time thinking how this pandemic negatively affected me. First, I’ve lost more money than I made in the first 35 years of my life. Hell, I’m down more than the S@P. My business is about to be forced to close. At least 20 percent of my customers aren’t going to make it through this. A fair amount will probably not pay me . My daughter is self quarantining herself in Alaska of all places because we traveled in the last 2 weeks.

    Then I got to thinking what I have to be grateful for. First, I got enough money to pay my employees while we’re closed. Second, I got enough money to buy the dip. Third, my daughter is learning what “real life” is all about. Fourth, I got 26 rolls of toilet paper. Fifth, I got enough food to last 3 weeks. Six, my wife and I after 28 years of marriage are reconnecting in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have this time. We pulled out some lawn chairs, sat in the driveway, drank a few beers and talked about nothing and everything. Seventh and most important my family is healthy.

    This virus is the best thing that’s happened to me in a while. It’s opened my eyes to what is truly important to me. It’s actually been quite liberating.

    Thanks, Bill

    1. Best post I’ve seen. You win the internet. Great outlook Bill, I found it uplifting. Folks like you will be the engine of rebuilding main street. Best of luck.

  38. I would definitely not pay the daycare even if you loose your spot. With a newborn you need to be extra vigilant with bringing in sicknesses,especially since this will probably last months.
    My biggest concern is my husband is a firefighter in a big city (Philadelphia) so I feel like its inevitable for it to get to our household. Typically I don’t get anxious but I’m pregnant with baby #3. I will be relying on my good health and strong immune system (have not even had a cold this winter)
    Money wise we are ok, sure retirement accounts are down but we are 35 & 39. My husband has great job security and is actually getting paid hazard wages (time and a half) for his regular shifts)
    I’m trying to convince my husband into investing some of the 160k we have in a bank savings account but he is such a boomer its infuriating (beyond conservative in investing) we do max out his 403B and both of our ROTH IRAs so he thinks that’s enough. I do invest all of my part time income (I sell stuff on Ebay and stay at home with the kids)

  39. MrFireby2023

    I’m feeling much pain Sam. First of all my brokerage account is down 40% which spells a few hundred grand. Next, my real estate crowdfunding is invested in hotels AND is leveraged. I may possibly lose my entire investment in the fund which is $50,000. and I purchased it through Crowdstreet’s platform of all places! My other crowdfunding investment is also in hospitality and they emailed to notify me that all monthly distributions are ceased. Occupancy went from 90%+ to 27%! I’m torched and all of my plans to retire early in 2021 are no more.

  40. After listening to that woman (I speak Hebrew) maybe it is better that we have a 1 and 4 year old than grade school age children. Normally, I am envious of parents with older children who can look after themselves more. Here in Australia things aren’t shut down yet. However, I am a college professor, and we have put our teaching 100% online from next week. We are going to be hard hit by a steep fall in foreign students (one of Australia’s biggest exports) next year (well from July). I have been fairly conservatively positioned financially because I was expecting a correction of recession sooner or later. However, some of my supposedly conservative investments turned out to be riskier than I thought. So, we have been hit quite hard. In percentage terms still it is better than the GFC when I was almost wiped out. But the absolute dollar numbers are larger.

    1. Yeah, I was talking to a couple of moms who say they wish they had babies and toddler age children instead. I guess they know better since they can compare the two age differences.

      All I know is that our three-year-old has the energy of the sun. It is literally nonstop 12 hours so we need to take shifts. And then we need to juggle our baby who gets disrupted because of his noise.

      1. We are in the same boat : 3.5 year boy + 2 month toddler. The elder kid is having a blast since he gets to spend so much time with us ! But it sure can get taxing for us parents doing the parenting job 100% of the time :)

  41. I was very conservative with my 401k and tax-advantaged brokerage accounts and moved virtually everything to cash in late January. I was following the situation in China very closely from the very beginning and my spidey senses were telling me there would be a huge correction in the coming months. My ordinary / taxable brokerage accounts have been another story and I’ve taken a much more aggressive / speculative line with short term SPY puts and longer term SPY calls on the inverse of market sentiment at the start of day and end of day trading. It’s been relatively profitable, but I’m mostly doing it for the adrenaline rush to ease the monotony of working from home.

  42. We are also feeling the pain. Kicking myself every day for not selling a chunk of our stocks in February as we had planned.

    I found your blog in 2018 when we were trying to buy a house in the bay area, and it was my guide to everything. Thanks to you we went with a 5/1 ARM at 3.05% over a fixed rate. Then I consulted the blog for insurance, buying a car, and every other financial decision I’ve made since. We also became parents and I learned a great deal here.

  43. TheEngineer

    “Finding Joy In The Suffering Of Others” is an over simplification of human nature. We are animals based – animals expressed personal pain and suffering by transferring to the external environment – people, gyms, punching bags, tennis matches.

    People who lead successful lives have mastered the transferring of their own sufferings to
    anythings inorganic. They work to promote the joy and happiness others – people, animals and plants.

  44. Social Capitalist

    You forgot your last hardship- that you prefer eating out. Going to be a tough one for you and the fam eating cold cuts.
    Seriously, appreciate the post. Troubling times for many. Hope my lighthearted bashing wasn’t too much.

    I’m down 33%, unsure what to do even though I fully expect another 30% drop.
    In 2008 I left it in and came out okay- and I will this time too but it will again likely be many years before it’s made back. I can’t guess or time market but clearly things will get worse before better. Lot of wouldas couldas and shouldas- at least you keep a solid hedge.
    Good luck to you and yours.

    1. Oh, but I actually love delivery even more! With two kids under three, we actually don’t have much time to eat out. It’s mostly just delivery and cooking steaks at home.

      I hope equities isn’t a massive part of your net worth. GL to us all!

  45. FS has been my compass this past decade navigating me through the calm and treacherous financial waters out there. Look forward to every article and love your weekend newsletters.

  46. LOVE reading all your detailed posts. You are such a positive, caring person who shares you information weekly. Please ignore the haters!!!!!! You bring so much value to our lives.
    God bless you and your family always.

  47. Thanks for the post. My wife and I are 100% stocks and pretty much always have been. We’re down hundreds of thousands of dollars. No perfect market timing for us since we don’t do that.

    The silver lining for anyone in this situation is, if you do a back test on your portfolio to see where you’d be right now versus a “very safe” investment scheme, you may find that you still have more money now, even with the losses. Granted, you may not. Sorry. That’s the fun of investing.

    Losing money on paper is not fun, but at least you had a lot of money in the first place to lose! If you didn’t have a lot of money saved up, hopefully you keep your job and start piling the money in!

    1. I also had a lot in equities, probably 70%. I’m down about $1M but it doesn’t really bother me. I expect the market to eventually recover. I’m in my 30s and own an Internet business that makes a lot of cash with almost zero expenses. Additionally, I own my home outright and have enough cash to live for 6 years. I won’t ever need to sell, so my investing timeline is forever. The only thing that would change my view is if the long term prospects of the USA turn negative.

      I feel for the health care workers who have to go into work everyday and risk exposure. I feel for the grocery workers and others who have no choice but to go to work. I feel for the small businesses with debt and expenses. It must be a helpless feeling to be laid off with no prospects of finding a job.

      1. You’re in great shape! I debate how much I will mix in more international stocks (we’re at 20% right now) over the long haul so I understand the internal struggle.

        It is brutal for those who lose work in those industries right now. I so badly hope it is a V shaped recovery for them.

  48. Are you counting your losses compared to how much money you invested, or value prior to the crash? Personally, I feel better when I compare it vs a year ago vs recent highs.

    1. Rich, by accident, I performed this type of calculation last night. It was comforting. Measuring from the all-time high is unnecessarily painful. Using a beginning of the year or year ago reference is much more comforting. I love this site.

      Thanks to a financial advisor, I began taking less risk a few years ago. Even still, down hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last four weeks. This is a real psychological fitness test.

      Although this is a public health issue, the primary damage to most is economic. Lost jobs, closed small businesses, market declines. We Americans are not used to being patient and long-term thinking. I am doing my best to get better at those things. Be safe everyone and hang in there.

  49. Thanks for being so open and real with us. It is a crazy time indeed and we are all feeling it financially one way or another. If that GS chart on unemployment is real that is way way scary. This definitely isn’t the type of recession I was imagining would come. Thanks for keeping the site running and writing so much timely content in these crazy times. I know that’s not easy with schools closed, having small kids in the house 24/7 and trying to watch the markets and news around the clock.

    Here’s hoping the virus dies off soon and we can all start rebuilding.

    And PS thanks for that video. Gave me a much needed laugh!

    1. The video was so hilarious! I’m assuming there is going to be a turning point where people start writing against business shut downs because the economic suffering is worse than the health risk of the pandemic.

      I give the economic suffering at most one month before please aggressive shelter from home and other methods are lifted.

  50. Curtis Sharp

    Sam my portfolio is down about 200k, 70/30 ratio. Both of my kids are home. They’ve broken 2 things already though neither one apparently did it. Me and my wife work at a local hospital and while they have no positive cases yet everyone is anxious. Its very easy for me to worry about the market dropping another 30%. I plan on buying more stocks but its hard to pull the trigger. I plan on catching covid 19 eventually as will most healthcare workers. Love your posts, i’ve read most of them. Very helpful during these crazy times.

    1. Hang in there Curtis! My son is breaking things left and right as well. He’s also drawing on the walls, banging doors, and it seems like he might eventually shatter some glass.

      I think we’ve got to just accept that we will eventually get the virus or have already gotten the virus. I have been often on sick since early December. And so is my family. It’s like a merry-go-round. Now I wonder whether it was the coronavirus or not.

      It is good to see that there are over 90,000 recovery so far and all the rich and famous people are reporting back that they are doing well.

      Thank you and your wife for being on the front lines.

  51. The great thing about negatives is that there’s always a positive flip-side, and that is particularly true of coronavirus.

    Thousands of Chinese people have died from coronavirus, but do you know how many die every single year from lung, heart, and cardiac disease due to pollution? 1.6 million. And now, China has clear skies for the first time in a generation. If that continues, even in a limited way, it’s going to save a lot of lives.

    And as you say, it feels bad to watch our net worths decline as the market melts down, but I’m willing to bet that you are currently deploying a lot of the cash you had on the sidelines to buy into this market at increasingly bargain prices.

    The whole reason to stay conservative as markets blast upward is to be ready to profit in situations like this. I’m not even feeling sad about the temporary decline of my net worth, because it is such a great opportunity to deploy that cash I had sitting on the sidelines and thus be much wealthier once the market does eventually bounce back.

    See Sam — even your rare negative pieces wind up positive!

    1. For sure, I have been deploying cash As I see this is an amazing opportunity to build a larger dividend stock portfolio. But it’s definitely been unpleasant to lose lots of money with my existing exposure.

      If local government and the federal government can give us a tighter timeframe for when these lockdowns will end, I think that would help a lot of people plan and feel better. When you just don’t know when the stuff will end, people start to really get anxious.

      GL to us!

  52. Bay Area Appraiser

    Be careful Sam…

    My mortgage broker clients have informed me that the
    Non QM Mortgage Market has SHUT DOWN
    San Francisco Real Estate market could be hit very HARD.

  53. Hi Sam, I felt compelled to write you about your writings. Please keep doing what you are doing because you do make a difference. I am old enough to be your father but have to admit that I have learned a lot from you, not only about finances, but life in general. I know that in the long run you will overcome this crisis as many of your readers will. I wish everyone great health, because without it, nothing else matters.

  54. Another reason why people are open about their finances might be that they feel comfortable with the decisions they’ve made. After all, even if you are now down by several hundred thousand dollars, you are probably still outperforming most investors and you’ve surely outperformed them since you started your financial journey in the late 90’s.

    At least in my case, I feel in peace with myself. I made mistakes when saving/investing but overall I feel like I’ve been getting better and making progress. This coronavirus crisis was complicated if not impossible to see it coming. Things happen all the time, rage towards internet strangers isn’t going to solve anything.

    1. In other words, everything is rational. Yes, I do feel comfortable with my decisions because I wouldn’t have made them otherwise. I’m at a point where I really really don’t wanna go back to work. And the funny thing is, I’m probably shut out of a job now :(

  55. Thanks, Sam, for sharing your plight. I hope things get better for all of us soon. I look forward to reading more financial samurai articles as things recover.

  56. I have no problem talking about losses. I am down mid-six figures at the moment and I expect it to get worse, but short of living in Steven King’s “The Stand” or 28 Days Later, I’m pretty optimistic. For one thing, the global response has been powerful, if not swift, and will make a difference.

    Secondly, I’ve been here before and took a different path. The 2008 crash was so obvious to me that I cashed out that spring. Didn’t know when it was going to happen but I had no doubt it would happen. I went so far as to not buy a house until the debt nonsense was all sorted out – it took ten years, but that’s another story.

    But I have a friend who rode 2008 all the way down, sold nothing, kept investing and rode it all the way back up. He said he wouldn’t retire until his net worth was low eight-figures and he retired four years ago.

    I’ve been pondering this for some time, as we took very different paths, but he had the courage to take the terrifying 2008 ride. And so I now take the not-quite-as-scary 2020 ride. I believe in the future. Do you?

    1. Liam, could you share more info on your plan for this crisis?

      Also could you ask your friend to share more of what he did during the last downturn?
      1. How did me manage psychologically during that time?
      2. What income did he have during the time? I’m assuming he didn’t lose his job
      3. What was his buying strategy as the market was going down?
      4. Last, what did he buy? I’m assuming index fund?
      I’m buying index funds for long term growth and REITs for income (O and STOR, vgslx) and maybe technology etfs.

      I recall 2008 well but It’s still tough to buy as it goes down, I was less experienced then and I didn’t buy. I’m more experience now but I have kids and a mortgage.

      Would love to hear some perspective from some folks that did it.

      1. The only questions I can answer about my friend are:

        1). Neither he nor his wife (bigger earner) lost their jobs.

        2). He bought broad market index funds, of what type/company I do not know.

        As for me, they’re still paying us, so I’m still investing. We have a 1.5 year emergency fund. I doubt this will go on that long.

        Perhaps Sam can do an article on the distinctions between an emergency fund and a “Black Swan Event” fund.

    2. Oh, but I would argue 2020 is shaping up to be a more scary situation than 2008.

      2008 was almost strictly a financial contagion alone. Severe financial distress, yes. But it’s easier to administer a cure when the symptoms are more binary.

      Right now we have a viral contagion begetting a financial contagion. The longer the former lasts the worse the latter gets. And the more things that break in the meantime and/or become to costly to repair. Clearly some things may go away completely with this virus stifling both social AND economic activity.

      I do believe in the resiliency of this country and our people — a bounce back will come at some point; however, I think it’s becoming apparent this crisis may prove more devious and costly than 2008 when all is said and done.

      1. For some reason, I just don’t find the current situation as scary. Maybe it’s because I have a larger net worth or I just went through about three months worth of a cold so I was already at rock bottom dealing with a cold, I’ll try to take care of my family, writing and seeing the market go down.

        I really believe we can beat this damn virus quicker than we can beat a paralyzed financial system like we had in 2008 and 2009.

  57. “2) We’re still paying for preschool, despite the closure.”
    My family with 1 kid and an infant have been impacted by daycare closure as well. We live in the east bay. And the provider wanted us to continue payment through the shelter in place period. As this period can go indefinitely we decided to pull our children and give up out spot. So we will have to carry some anxiety of finding another daycare for them when the order is lifted.

    1. Yeah, that’s a tough decision to make. It doesn’t seem fair that the preschool would continue to charge when they are not teaching. Perhaps a fair solution would be to charge half price so the preschool can still pay the teachers and the rent.

      No easy solution all around. But I expect the government to provide some income assistance by April 1 or so.

  58. Landal Hudlow

    The great thing about your newsletter is I can learn from it and it’s up to me if I take the advice or not. I’ve even forwarded several to my son who is in his 20s. Never too early to learn. I like that you can make mistakes and learn from them and who isn’t making some mistakes? Keep up the good work and you of all people know that this too shall pass.

  59. Hi Sam,
    stay strong ,as long as we are healthy at the end of this virus ,it will be ok.Even i lost like close to 25% of my networth in stocks.At 2008 my portfolio was small and now its decent size and the fluctuations is almost hurting.

  60. I look forward to every article that comes out, regardless if it applies to my situation today.

    Would love to read about what to do on unemployment income.

  61. Ms. Conviviality

    I read every one of your articles, even if I get behind, like I did last month since things were going so financially well that I didn’t feel a need to tamper with my investments. I’m somewhat surprised that your website traffic has gone down since people should have more time now that they’re not getting outside much. Like you said, it could be that people don’t want to focus on finances since things look so bleak. Anyway, I’ve been keeping up-to-date with your articles since they allow me to look on the bright side when most of the information going around is gloom and doom. This is a time to seize on opportunities, or at least make a strategic plan for how to proceed. I think the problem is that those who are critical just haven’t been reading FS for enough years to benefit from your wisdom. Otherwise, most would have set themselves up to be ready for difficult financial situations. You’ve shared plenty on how to have an “emergency fund” but also maximize earnings, how to save on mortgage interest with an ARM so principal can be paid down sooner, wisely investing in the heartland, BURL so that one can enjoy living in an expensive city, 1/10 rule, and so many other topics. All those articles provide ways for people to ultimately increase their net worth which allows for options when something catastrophic happens. You’ve done good. Don’t let the few negative comments outweigh the many more good ones out there.

    1. Thank you for reading, sharing, and pointing out the typos for so long!

      The irony is that I gain the most traffic from M-F when people are at work. It’s probably because there’s a lot of downtime at work and people want to figure out their finances to one day escape work.

      Now, every day is a stay at home day for millions. This weighs on traffic.


  62. SF resident here too.

    Just want to say I appreciate your site and read every article you write. Great content and will always be happy to support.

  63. Hi Sam,

    Let’s keep the spirit up! I took your advice that the best thing we could do in a crisis is to long for ourselves: let’s try to use this downtime to strengthen our families, communities and our own capacities and skills.

    Thank you Sam for sharing your thoughts and life. Your core community will grow while the noises fade.

    Take care!

  64. You got this, Sam! You are THE financial samurai, you’ll make it all back and will come out of this stronger, better, smarter and so will we – thanks to you sharing your knowledge and experience.

    Hang in there and we’ll all get through this together.

  65. Hi Sam,

    Just a quick comment because i distasteful that people actually take pleasure in the losses of others; while i can understand it, it is regrettable that you received emails like the one shown. You do a lot of good work and would not want you to be discouraged. I can identify with your situation; banking and Economic crisis in home country Lebanon has been rough; followed by market crash, adding the crude oil price crash (i work in the industry), of course not downplaying corona virus pandemic… I also have a kid under two and a baby that is 8 weeks old. Ultimately, i am still grateful that eveyone is in good health and that i will be able to bounce back.

    Take care of yourself

  66. Hi Sam

    My brother recommended me to follow your site (about 1 month ago) after we had experienced the darkness period of our life due to wrong life decisions, we were only 2 months away from bankruptcy but we were lucky enough to close our house sale at average market value before the coronavirus outbreak. Your advise is very insightful and apply in my situation. I will continue to learn from it. Thank you very much

    P.S. I just moved from NJ to CA a month ago (lived in East for 25+ years) so we are neighbor now :)

  67. Perhaps I’m being naive, but unless you’re looking to retire in <10 years, history shows that things recover. The dot-com crash and the housing crisis both recovered in single digit number of years. Granted this is likely worse than both, but I see this as an opportunity to buy on the cheap. Not being able to take vacations or go out to eat means my budget is much lower than normal, almost forcing me to save and invest more in this down market. It'll be bumpy along the way, but real gains can be made here. Shit happens, but success doesn't come from complaining. We just need to accept this new-normal and figure out what works and how to capitalize. Thank you, Sam for your insightful content on this site. As a long time reader I appreciate all you've taught us.

  68. And one more bright side, maybe this will curb your smugness that you put forth when someone calls you on a mistake and you lash back that with rhetoric like, “I thought it was obvious” instead of owning your own mistakes or lack of communication skills. Maybe you’re speaking about yourself regarding lashing out.

    1. GratefulInSD

      Wait, what? Sam has continually and repeatedly shown an openness to other viewpoints and acknowledged what (limited) bias he may have. He is putting himself out here because he has a passion to HELP people. Are you directing your comment to him? Surely I am misreading your comment. Surely I must be mistaken. Someone could not possibly think this about Sam, could they?

  69. Hospitalist

    Hi Sam
    We are also feeling the pressure too as we just retired last year, I’m one of the few ones that retired with a home mortgage, looking at our networth drop is not fun, however after going through 2008-2009 recession, I’m still very calm, not doing anything with our investments except some tax loss harvesting. Luckily I have a side gig that is allowing us to get some income to cover our healthcare premium for the family of 3 (around $1200 per month) and our mortgage. The good thing of being retired now is that we can stay home for the most part and have minimal interaction with others.

  70. The silver lining of this whole crisis (if there is one) is that people seem a bit humbler, kinder and more considerate now. Hopefully we’ll remember these lessons once things start improving.

  71. Hi Sam

    I got laid off from my job during the 2008 crisis and before I read your blog I was really depressed with it but after reading your blog and the fire movement I have used my severance package and bought real estate that now we are well prepared to go into another recession. I think you are really smart and you will figure out a way during crisis to come out on top and help others who are open to ideas with your blog. There are some flashy you tubers who claim to have insights but I don’t think it’s true and they make more money talking about it than actually investing. Keep it up and wish you and your family good health and good luck.

  72. I’m 33 this year and started investing in the stocks market at the start of 2017 – what a great year – and then 2018 happened, but I was unfazed, hey, it was just Trump, and I have 30 more years to go. I didn’t move my money, or re-balance between equity/bond because I was confident that it will blow over, and blow over it did, and my portfolio has never been higher in mid-Feb this year. Although the virus was on the horizon at that time but it felt manageable, because China was containing it and it didn’t look it it would blow up elsewhere like it did in China.

    But blow up it did. I truly felt terrified, and did things I didn’t do in 2018 – sold most of my equity funds and put them in bond funds. I only left a couple of funds that were already in the red be because I didn’t want to buy high and sell low, and oh boy they are just absolutely gutted now. And the bond funds I just shifted into? They’re losing money too but probably not as much as I would have lost if I had kept them in equity. I still keep 5 stocks that I absolutely believe in but I’m afraid of checking their values now.

    You just gained a new reader by the way. Hello from Malaysia.

    1. Ah, Malaysia, the maker of my favorite foods! I just had some Indian mee goreng and kanggung belachan today!

      The good thing about your situation is that you have a lot of time on your hands given your age. And hopefully you didn’t invest too much as a percent under your net worth or have too much overall.

      1. Wow, didn’t know you know those things! I sort of stopped putting money into equity by mid-2018 because I was saving up for my first property. We also have something like the 401(k) in Malaysia that’s called the Employees’ Provident Fund and is capital guaranteed by the government – this makes up the bulk of my net worth.

        But you know, those money that I’m losing now are my hard-earned money. I saved up to 40% of my after tax paycheck, have little luxury apart from the occasional treats. Looking at those numbers in red, I can’t help but think, that’s N months of my mortgage installment. I just didn’t know that I was doing had a name i.e. FIRE. I don’t think I’m going to retire early, I just want the peace of mind of being financially independent.

        With the bloodbath happening everywhere right now suddenly you just don’t know what the next 2 weeks are going to look like. Suddenly FI seems like something that’s slipping away quickly. And the shelter-in-place order (yes, we’re doing it in Malaysia too) just makes it all too depressing. So it’s quite comforting to know that I’m not alone in this. Thanks for the write-up!

  73. Update on our preschool. So they have said that if someone asks for a refund for the two weeks, they will give half. And they we will not be processing any payments for April until they know more about whether or not they will be able to re-open. They empahsized the importance of paying their teachers to keep the high quality staff.

    Oh also, one more potential pain for you — are the income limits going to keep you from benefiting from the cash that Trump is sending ($1,000, or $1,200)?

    1. Cool about preschool.

      I have never expected any government assistance and I don’t want it. The money needs to go to people who are at risk of losing their jobs, or who have lost their jobs, or who have seen a huge decline in business.

      If for some reason my family gets any type of government income, I will spend it 100% immediately on my local small businesses.

      1. So looks like our preschool has made clear they will not be charging until they open again. Which they hope to be on April 6, based on Pennsylvania governor. I also noticed that my wife’s gym and my gym, Planet fitness, has frozen all memberships so there will not be any charges. Our Kumon tutoring is still charging, though they are going to mail assignments home or arrange for pickup. And our school system delivered our kid’s school’s iPad to the house (and every other K-6 student in the school system) and teachers are sending assignments via the iPad.

  74. If you are only down hundreds of thousands on what I think your portfolio levels are… you are probably in the top decile of performance at this time.

  75. Sam, I’ve been following your blog for a while, and love your honesty and insights. I look forward to every article that comes out. It’s definitely a hard time for so many, so I pray that we all come out of this stronger and more bonded.

  76. MattG in Michigan

    Sam –

    I’m a longtime reader (if 5 or 6 years counts as a long time) but this is one of my first times commenting. First, thank you for all of your fantastic advice, thoughts, and commentary over the years. Second, please do not let a bunch of dipstick, negative commenting, internet arsebags effect you in any way! This is no different advice than what you will tell your son or your daughter when the inevitably come home from school telling you and your wife that they were “bullied” by another child. Your website is my favorite financial forum and your articles are some of the best and most applicable to me and my situation. I look forward to your articles every Mon, Wed, Friday. Stay safe and healthy!

    1. Thanks Matt! I’m just trying to flip the switch with this article practice focusing on the negative since I’m pretty much always positive. At least one commentor here as delighted in my current difficulties so that’s good!

      Thanks for reading for so long!

  77. Hahaha, the video is hilarious. Yeah, lower expectation people. For now, I’m teaching my son economizing life skills like cooking, growing food, and building your brand (making YouTube videos.) We only do school work 1-2 hours/day. It’s not too bad right now because our kid is only in 3rd grade.
    We have other similar issues too. Particularly parents. They’re far away and difficult to contact. We’re worried about them. Blog traffic is down too. Nobody wants to read about early retirement right now.

    1. rini sherony

      I agree with the mom. My daughter is a sophomore at college and is now attending hard college classes online with no study partners no proper discussions no library stuck at home all day cannot meet friends and seems to be college professors are not making things easier and they seriously need to be more flexible on expectations.
      This is brutal :(


      1. Christine Minasian

        I have a Junior in college doing online learning also. Her stress level is sky high. She is frustrated for the same reasons- hard to meet virtually with her group since they’re all over the world. Her professors are considering making the rest of the year Pass/Fail which makes perfect sense. Other colleges around hers (Boston) are doing it already. Maybe your daughter’s are considering the same? I told her in the whole scheme of her life- this Business Analytics class will not be THAT crazy important during this crucial time.

        1. Hang in there Sam. Forget the Haters – they got nothing better to do than criticize and feel sorry for themselves.

          BTW, thanks for your article sometime ago wherein you mentioned the Luxe Neo 320. Comes in handy now!

          Take Care.

  78. Hi Sam
    From a fellow Bay Area resident with elementary aged kids, this has been a hell of a week! I’m trying to focus on the positives – it’s supposed to be 70 in SJ today, my wife and I are still generating income, people in my neighborhood are all out walking and everyone is extra friendly. We do need each other, and like 9/11 and the Great Recession, we are relearning that right now. Restores my faith in humanity, helps me see the positives that will come on the day they release us all! That day will be a hell of a party! Stay safe, and please keep writing, you have fans and you’re not alone.

  79. Meghan Miller

    Hi Sam,

    I’m the former 23 yr old who has been following you since 2009. I’m active duty military and while I’m not retiring for at least 7 yrs, you have made planning easier. Because of your advice I have been smart with finances and have made some very responsible decisions. Three kids, one husband, and a good job later I wanted to thank you for your honesty and help. Best wishes to you and the family and all your readers.

    1. No, thank YOU for your service Meghan! What a blessing to have your family. Thank you for reading since 29. Wow! I don’t think I’ve received this feedback in years.

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