March 12, 2020

The last few weeks have been difficult.  The exogenous shock of COVID-19 has created an atmosphere of confusion and panic across the globe.  In addition to the turmoil in financial markets, the virus has affected scores of people in a more personal way and continues to cause disruption to daily life.

During these turbulent times, we remind ourselves that unique challenges occur every so often and humans have always risen to the occasion.  We do not presume to know exactly how this situation will play out, but we are confident the number of those infected will continue to rise before they fall. However, we believe in the resiliency of human nature and fully expect an ultimate return to resume to normalcy no matter how hard it is to imagine right now.

Marketwise, our investment team is continually monitoring the situation and deliberating various scenarios.  Fortunately, we have largely avoided the worst-hit parts of the market.  As a firm, we are underweight the financials and energy sectors in the equity markets. In addition, our philosophy of limiting risk in the fixed income space resulted in our decision to largely avoid high yield bonds that have continually been bid up over the last few years in a quest for yield. Furthermore, we have published a piece on our website that goes into more detail on market specifics: https://dwassetmgmt.com/news/

During times of crisis, bad actors may see this as an opportunity to take advantage of people’s fears.  Please consider taking a minute to review these best practices on safeguarding against bad behavior and identifying possible fraudulent situations.

Regarding our business operations, we have taken measures to ensure we always remain accessible to our clients.  Our IT department has outfitted each employee with the means to be fully operational to work from home if needed. We have also restricted all types of business travel for the moment and caution against any non-essential personal travel as we take care to protect the health and well-being of our employees and those around them.

Throughout this period, we have put an emphasis on being proactive and in reaching out to our clients because we believe in bad times is when we can provide the most value.  For the people and organizations that we serve, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions and concerns about your investments or financial plan. For those that we do not currently serve, we are happy to serve a resource if need be.  We can be reached at 901.435.4078 or info@dwassetmgmt.com.

Above all, we want to communicate that we are here and ready to help through these unprecedented times. We are prepared to meet this unique challenge head-on and consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such good people and organizations.

As always, we appreciate the continued trust and confidence that our partners have demonstrated in us.

Sincerely,

Duncan Williams Asset Management

Author: Kyle Gowen

Kyle has worked in the investments industry for over ten years, previously at Raymond James Financial Services and Duncan-Williams, Inc., and served in both client services and investment research roles.
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