Lockdown Week 6: Market Perturbations & Sushi


Well, would you look at that!  Here we are 6 weeks into the pandemic lockdown, staring down directly into the precipice of a humongous recession … and the stock market is rising.  Incredible!  Absolutely incredible.

This seemly bizarre market move has the so-called “experts” calling it a “sucker’s rally”, warning investors to stay away.  Yet the stock market is undeniably rising again, making the gurus and self proclaimed experts look a bit foolish.

Mr. Market has been in a positive mood the last couple of weeks.  Never mind that we may have only reached the halfway point on this pandemic.  I can’t complain about the positive results either — We invested a good chunk of money very near the recent bottom and our new holdings have done well.

Is this a suckers rally?  Will the rally continue, or will there be new lows ahead?

I have no idea! The stock market can and will do anything in the short term.  Long term, it’s still going to be a weighing machine.

Right now, the market appears to be recovering from an incredibly swift case of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt).  Those emotions hit investors like a ton of bricks at the beginning of March, and are only now beginning to subside.  The unknowns about the COVID-19 pandemic are slowly becoming knowns again.

With potential treatments being developed, it looks like sunny skies off in the distance.

sunshine

Never mind the fact that the road from where we are now to those sunny skies is going be bumpy– Expect to see bad quarterly earnings, even greater unemployment, losses at the more vulnerable companies, and all around terrible financial results.

 

Am I Worried?

Since my income is primarily derived from investments, you’re probably wondering if I’m worried about all this.  Does the impending recession, or any of the wild market swings keep me up at night?  Am I concerned about my diminished net worth, or maintaining my financial independence?

Honestly, I haven’t lost a single minute of sleep over these market perturbations.  Perhaps it’s because we were a little better prepared than most to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Or, perhaps it’s because I’m so exhausted from homeschooling my two elementary school-aged kids every day.

homeschooling

Homeschooling is not easy.  I’m not going to deny that a certain exhaustion hits me every single night that makes falling asleep a simple affair.

Ten minutes after my head hits the pillow, I’m out like a light!

Another reason I don’t worry is because of my incredible faith in the power of individuals to adapt and carry-on.  Each of us is going to wake-up every single day to try to tackle the problem of how to feed our families and keep a roof over our heads.  We’ll go to work, find new jobs (if we need them), and keep pushing forward to solve the problems ahead.

The world always finds a way to muddle through.  And we will… eventually.

As far as my investments go, I expect the world will inevitably unlock again… and the vast majority of my investments will still be relevant in the new world.  In the interim, returns on investments are going to be diminished and I’ll need to get back to focusing on the basics:  Living below our means, finding ways to save, cutting unnecessary expenses, and plowing money into investments.

To fill the financial gaps, the Tako family has years of cash available (should the economic disruption continue past 2020).  Let me tell you – having all that cash available does wonders for my sanity.

 

How Is The Rest Of The Tako Family Doing?

While I keep my eye on the money-side of things, handling the money isn’t the most difficult part of this lockdown.  The really difficult part is keeping the kids occupied and minimizing our “cabin fever” while we wait for this lockdown to end.

It’s harder than you might think to keep two kids occupied when we can’t go anywhere!

For example — This week we did plenty of reading, but with the library closed we’re starting to run low on books.  I guess I need to do some hunting for free e-books.

book reading

When the weather is nice, we try to get outdoors as often as possible.  Tulips and other spring flowers are in bloom right now, making for some very colorful walks around the neighborhood this week.

tulips

To stave off a little more boredom on Sunday, Mrs. Tako held an indoor Easter Egg hunt for the boys!  They had fun, but that was about as festive as we got this Easter.

easter egg hunt

If things start to get really dull, we break out a “new to us” puzzle.  The kids just love puzzles and they make a great time killer.  The boys finished a sloth puzzle this last week:

sloth puzzle

As always, making good food is another way we like to pass the time.  This week we made homemade sushi!  How many people can say they’re making sushi during this pandemic?

lockdown sushi

Our fish and topping options were a little bit more limited due to the lockdown, but I think we pulled-off a great sushi dinner.  Here’s a shot of my homemade temaki just before I rolled it up.

temaki

If you curious about how to make homemade sushi, I have a blog post that covers the basics, and even a video that covers rolling temaki.  It’s really not that hard!

 

The Road Ahead

While the road ahead remains unclear and fraught with uncertainty, I’m trying to look on the bright side — Families like mine are getting the chance to spend a ton of time together.  Personally, I’m incredibly thankful for the extra time to spend with my boys (even if I’m terrible at homeschooling them).

It’s also an incredible reminder about what’s truly important in life.  Take away all the events, dining out, vacation travel, sports, schools, and what do we have left?

Each other, mother nature, and (of course) the internet.

Yes, millions of people are unemployed right now, and what they’re going through is devastating.  It’s tough times for many people, I can’t deny that.  But it’s also tough times that pushed me to find financial independence, back in my younger years.

It was the kick in the financial butt that I needed to change my life.

Being forced outside of our individual comfort zone can be an incredibly good thing.  It can push us to learn new skills, lose bad habits, and form good new habits.  It’s not all bad news.  There can be a good side to all of this, even if it’s challenging to see at times.

I challenge each and every one of you to find it.  If you’re willing to share, I’d love to hear something positive that’s happened to you under this worldwide lockdown.

Leave a note in the comments below!

 

 

24 thoughts on “Lockdown Week 6: Market Perturbations & Sushi

  • April 19, 2020 at 2:39 AM
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    Surprisingly, the market crash and the lockdown have actually given us lots of positive things. Just to name one: I’ve finally taken up yoga! 🙂

    Reply
  • April 19, 2020 at 2:39 AM
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    …has the so-called “experts” calling it a “sucker’s rally”, warning investors to stay away

    Thank you for putting the “so-called” in front of the word experts. Haha, no such thing. Just bloviating bloviators who managed to get their voice heard. I actually like that term suckers rally, though no one knows if it’s true or not.

    Good luck with the home schooling, looks like your kids are taking to it well.

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:32 PM
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      Thanks Dave! Always enjoy seeing your comments here! Honestly I hope it’s not a suckers rally — the world can use a little good news right now!

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  • April 19, 2020 at 11:53 AM
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    “What’s truly important in life?

    Each other, mother nature, and (of course) the internet.”

    Put that on a shirt or bumper sticker! It gave me a good laugh! Good to see things are going smoothly over there. Parenting full-time is no joke… my wife and I are barely keeping it together with our 9-month old!

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:33 PM
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      Hehe, I’m glad that one got a laugh! Thanks Yoshi! Maybe I’ll put it on a t-shirt! 🙂

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  • April 19, 2020 at 11:53 AM
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    Your library should have plenty of ebooks. My son likes Nate the Great and the Diary of Wimpy kids series. He also just started the Harry Potter series. He’s finally old enough to like it. Previously, he didn’t like magic and other preternatural subjects.
    We are having a hard time with homeschooling. The teachers need to lower their expectations. The second week of homeschool went better for us. I let him less academic stuff. It was getting too stressful.

    Other than that we are doing pretty well. We enjoy staying home so it’s not a huge change for us. Life is pretty much the same except for homeschooling and my wife working from home. Well, those are big changes. I’ll be happy when they go back to school/work.

    Nice haircut for the kids!

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:36 PM
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      Oh, you noticed the haircut? Yes, we sheared the sheep last week! They needed a trim!

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  • April 19, 2020 at 11:56 AM
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    Like your Totoro collection…
    Positive things:
    – long walks with husband every day.
    – Finally cleaning out a basement room so he can work from home comfortably.
    – Volunteering at a local CSA with my daughter who is home from college
    – Saving a lot of money on non-essential travel that was planned for Spring/Summer.
    – Appreciating the way Costco has been run during the crisis compared to other stores. Glad
    I own the stock!
    Has Homeschooling helped your insomnia?

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:37 PM
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      Yep, no insomnia right now. Sleeping like a baby!

      Great list of positives SAHD!

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  • April 19, 2020 at 2:05 PM
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    Great to see you guys spending quality time with each other. I think the best thing that happened to me during this crisis is that I realized I don’t need a gym. I’m in the best shape of my life and haven’t lifted a weight in almost 2 months.

    So long $50 a month membership? We shall see.

    Cheers and stay safe!

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:37 PM
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      That’s great Backpack Finance! Freeing up $50 a month is definitely a positive thing!

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  • April 19, 2020 at 4:43 PM
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    Mmm, that sushi looks delicious! And Faith is jealous of the sloth puzzle, though she got to hold one a few months ago.

    As far as positive things go, we’ve been spending the same amount of time together since we moved to Panama last August (24 hours a day!). However, with us not being able to leave (like at all), we’ve gotten to be more creative and do different things that we haven’t tried before. We created an American Ninja Warrior course indoors, created some new games to play right outside our building, and have been doing new artsy crafts stuff together. So as far as the positive goes, our creativity together has jumped quite a bit… though we’ll definitely be ready for things to open up again!

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:41 PM
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      That’s funny, my boys are jealous of Faith for getting to hold a real sloth. 🙂

      Good for you guys getting creative! We’re pretty crafty people, so we had plenty of craft supplies on-hand when the pandemic hit… but it must be doubly hard for you guys in a new home and new country!

      Good luck Jim!

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  • April 19, 2020 at 4:59 PM
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    Hi Mr. Tako,

    Nice update. We are also pretty consumed with our 9 month old and 6 year old Who has been under home schooling the last month or more – it is pretty full on.

    I got furloughed from the consulting role I’ve been doing but that is reasonable given that all work is on hiatus.

    I’ve learned to play the piano during this time using an app called Simply Piano. We rented a small upright piano for our daughter who is taking lessons at school and got the app for all members of the family to try. I’ve gone through all the modules and progressed the fastest of all family members so that has been fun. It was totally worth the $80 that was paid for it.

    The other thing I’m doing is a 70 day juice fasting during this period to boost my immune system and improve my fitness. I’m 48 days into it and have already lost more than 20 pounds.

    Investments have taken a hit but I’m still chugging along. Like you we have a few years of living expenses in short term bank deposits so feel less stress but in a long multi year downturn we would also be feeling the pinch.

    We are spending less because we can’t do outside activities or travel, and that is something like 25% of our budget.

    Stay well,

    Mike H

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:42 PM
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      Wow, learning the piano! That’s a great positive Mike H! 🙂

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  • April 19, 2020 at 10:57 PM
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    I write music as a hobby but usually I don’t have 4-6 straight hours to really get in the groove and write. Being stuck at home means I’ve written a half dozen new tunes.

    Our living expenses have also fallen through the floor. Once this thing clears I’m taking some of that saved cash and traveling. Yes the day will come again 😉

    Reply
  • April 20, 2020 at 4:53 PM
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    I’m grateful that the weather is getting nicer. We have been having daily afternoon hygge in the backyard by having some tea/coffee and snacks. It’s nice to get some vitamin D.

    Having to deal with the kids 24/7 definitely has its ups and downs though.

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    • April 20, 2020 at 11:44 PM
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      Oh yes, the weather has been uncommonly nice these past few weeks! It’s certainly helped with the cabin fever that we can go outside in the afternoon to ride bikes with the boys, garden, or just play in the yard with the boys. 🙂

      If I was stuck staring at the same 4 walls all the time it would be much harder!

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  • April 21, 2020 at 8:32 AM
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    Yes homeschooling is certainly challenging. Why are they so well behaved at school but so lazy, resistant and distractable at home? Our troublesome child responds well to points and a reward after 10 points. But there is a lot of battling going on. Why do they want to make something take 10 times as long when they could just do it and get on with the day.
    However fun activities we have tried.
    Scavenger hunts inside and outside versions with 20 different items to find
    Scavenger hunt inside to find an item starting with every single letter of the alphabet – fun for the whole family.
    Using google earth street view to pick a scene and have a family member identify the country or city it is from (usually one we have visited) but it’s amazing what you can recognise just based on the housing or cars.
    PE with Joe on you tube. He’s British and has run 30 min exercise sessions every week day for 4 weeks. He has a spot the difference from his shelf contents behind him and does general knowledge quiz questions and fancy dress Friday’s.
    Get the kids to cook a meal with you. We made macaroni cheese with hidden vegetables tonight.
    Make art pizzas or coloured pasta. We made pasta (pasta maker) with different colourings sourced from foods we eat (beetroot, turmeric, parsley). The pasta looked awesome.
    Lots of baking – we have been having hot cross buns without the crosses weekly for weeks. Special cakes to have a pretend cafe outing – see tea tray below.
    A friend is doing virtual restaurant and makes a different ethnic meal and sets her table with relevant items. It looks great fun – she has no kids though.
    Special reading with the family. We take a tea tray and a book and set up somewhere nice (luckily we have nice weather and a garden so can picnic all over the place). This can be in any room in the house just for the novelty. Then each person takes turns to read a page. We usually make this interactive like asking why the characters behaved a certain way or what should they do or what do they think will happen next.
    Our kids like kind of old fashioned adventure stories with low level baddies like the famous five or secret seven. But I imagine the hardy boys or Nancy drew might be similar. Famous five is available free on line

    Reply
  • April 23, 2020 at 12:35 AM
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    Your rousing call to find the positive reminds me of Some Good News on YouTube. My grandmother passed away and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was postponed to next year. Silver linings: she was 97, lived a full life, and I believe her passing has lessened the burden on a close family member who was a primary caretaker. Also, I guess I get to save and carry over most of my vacation days (although I would have preferred to go to the Olympics). Surprisingly, I’m grateful to have a steady paycheck coming in (haven’t pulled the trigger on the RE part yet). Thank you for your blog posts. I always enjoy reading them.

    Reply
  • April 25, 2020 at 7:14 PM
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    I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and I love reading about how frugal you are. My positives are as follows: I’ve been cooking a lot more and saving a lot of money now that I’m working from home and have fewer places to go. I also realized that I don’t need a gym or fancy club (I like tennis) to exercise. The park and public courts are just as good and don’t cost anything (except taxes). They eventually shut our courts down, but once they safely reopen I’ll be using those from now on.

    One personal positive is that my college friends and I did a zoom meeting a few weeks ago. I hadn’t talked to some of them since graduation, and a few others I had lost touch with over the past few years. I don’t think I would have reconnected with them if this hadn’t happened.

    Reply

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