1st Quarter 2020


Awash in Superlatives...

“The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.”

  • Warren Buffett

To say that Q1 of 2020 was “interesting” may likely turn out to be the understatement of the year, given the number “firsts” that were compressed into less than the last 45 days of the quarter. The record 11-year economic expansion culminated with the domestic equity markets hitting all time highs on February 19th, after which those same markets suffered a bear market decline of around 27% in just over a month (the fastest ever), which was then followed by a bull market rebound of more than 20%...

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Domestic and Global Market Recap...  FRANCIS J. DAVIES, III

No amount of federal interest rate manipulation or quantitative easing can hold back inevitable economic reality forever. – Domestic and Global Market Recap, October 2019

Life during the COVID-19 pandemic: wearing a surgical mask and nitrile gloves; not seeing anyone outside the immediate family; spending hours on Zoom meetings; trying not to let fear dictate. Each week in March felt like a month as global markets gyrated in response to a fire hose of news, governmental actions (or inaction), a complete shutdown of business and social life, and a global mortality rate not seen since the Spanish flu of 1918.

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Richard “Chip” Harlow

US stocks declined sharply during the quarter as a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, became a global pandemic. Confirmed US cases rose from 150 to over 100,000 between March 4th and March 27th, and the economic impact grew clearer but uncertain as to the degree of negative impact. All sectors saw significant declines. Energy stocks were especially hit hard, with the addition of the oil price war weighing heavily. Financials and industrials also fell sharply. The information technology and healthcare sectors held up relatively better.

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The Impact of the CARES Act on Retirement Plan Distributions…  STEPHEN L. EDDY

Greetings everyone, I hope you are all healthy and safe as we go through this unprecedented time. I wanted to update you on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 and the impact it will have on retirement plan participants. In addition to the much-publicized stimulus checks, the $2 trillion+ stimulus package signed into law on March 27th also provides relief to plan participants through temporary retirement plan provision changes. These include:

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and the Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has impacted all parts of our lives. These far-reaching impacts affect our social, physical, mental and financial well-being. Let’s focus on the financial planning aspect of the virus’s influence. Apart from the market gyrations that saw asset values drop 30% and then rise 20% only a few weeks apart, various financial planning tools have jumped to the forefront and highlighted the need to have financial and estate plans in place.

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OPA & Another Covid-19 Perspective:

Normally this space is filled with the event calendars for a variety of the non-profit cultural organizations that we as a firm, our employees, clients or colleagues are involved with. It’s through these events, annual or otherwise, that they further their fundraising efforts and support the ongoing delivery of their missions.

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