Let’s talk about omicron.
Since the first known cases of COVID-19 were detected in China, we've seen a number of notable mutations as the virus moved across the world. Some, like beta and gamma, didn’t end up being a huge deal.1 Others, like delta, spread rapidly and caused new waves of infection. Now we have another variant on our hands: omicron. And it could be a serious one.
Unsurprisingly, markets reacted badly to the news last Friday and gave us our worst market day for the year.2 Why? The short trading day and lack of overall volume over the holiday break gave the selling pressure greater impact on the market than it might have had under normal conditions. We’ve seen that pattern before and it’s worth keeping in your back pocket: bad news over a holiday often leads to outsized market reactions.
Is omicron dangerous? Well, we don't know yet. And we won't know for several weeks until scientists can determine how the variant will respond to current vaccines and treatments. If it's more virulent, it could have delta-level impacts on travel, hospitality, and other parts of the economy. It could also turn out to be a tiny bump in the road. We just don’t know yet.
The market is laser-focused on omicron news so we can expect rocky times until the uncertainty clears (or something else takes over the chatter).
So, what can we do? Rather than try to predict the unknowable or speculate wildly without enough information, let's do something else instead. Let's take a deep breath, step back, and focus on some ground truths:
- Everyone is tired of this pandemic and ready to move on. But the pandemic's not done yet.
- We will continue to see COVID-19 variants. Most will fade into the background. Some will be more serious.
- New treatments are continually being developed and released.
- We have been adapting to the virus for nearly two years and we'll continue to get better at it.
Life is a gift and every day is extraordinary in some way. Let's cherish that. Hopefully, we'll look back in a few months and forget omicron ever hit the headlines. Until then, we wait, we watch, and we count our blessings.
Jeff Spitzmiller is the CEO of Ohana Wealth & Life Planning based in Cincinnati, OH. Ohana specializes in life and financial planning along with ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing principles. The firm is an independent financial advisor and a fee-only fiduciary. Jeff and the firm also enjoy volunteering and giving back to the local community. You can reach Jeff at email@example.com.
This was prepared by Ohana Wealth & Life Planning; a federally registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration as an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The oral and written communications of an adviser provide you with information about which you determine to hire or retain an adviser. Ohana Wealth & Life Planning Form ADV Part 2A & 2B can be obtained by written request directly to: Ohana Wealth & Life Planning 212 East Third St. Ste. #100 Cincinnati, OH 45202. All opinions and estimates constitute the firm’s judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This is provided to investment advisory services clients of Ohana Wealth & Life Planning. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security. Investing may involve risk including loss of principal. Investment returns, particularly over shorter time periods are highly dependent on trends in the various investment markets. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The information herein was obtained from various sources. Ohana Wealth & Life Planning does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information provided by third parties. The information given is as of the date indicated and believed to be reliable. Ohana Wealth & Life Planning assumes no obligation to update this information, or to advise on further developments relating to it. This is for informational purposes only. It does not address specific investment objectives, or the financial situation and the particular needs of any person. An index is a portfolio of specific securities, the performance of which is often used as a benchmark in judging the relative performance of certain asset classes. Indexes are unmanaged portfolios and investors cannot invest directly in an index. An index does not charge management fees or brokerage expenses, and no such fees or expenses were deducted from the performance shown.