Last update: 2020-04-12

Financial decisions during a pandemic

I wrote in the past about my financial goals, and how I believe the FIRE movement was a great goal to aspire to. The idea of wasting money on things that most people spend on just to conform has always been ridiculous to me, and I fully realize that with enough savings and frugality, work should become something that you can control in your life, rather than something that keeps you enslaved in order to survive. I've never really been too concerned about retiring at an early age, however I do like the idea of having the option.

Of course, in order to achieve financial independence, you need to invest rather than just save. This typically means investing in volatile stocks. Now that we're in the middle of an economic crisis, how is that path going? Well, surprisingly enough, it's not affecting me too much. I think however there's a lot of luck involved.

My stocks portfolio

Here is my stocks portfolio for the past year:

My stocks portfolio

As you can see, there was a massive dip recently, that's when the stock market went way down in March. The lowest I went was around -39%, which is slightly worse than the market. Right now, I'm still at -14%, which is still quite bad. However, my dividend stocks actually only make a very small portion of my overall savings. In fact, I also have mutual funds which fared much better, losing only a couple of points. And most of my money is actually still in CDs, because those have term dates and I couldn't get them out yet. They will all expire in the coming years.

So how did my overall net worth change between March and April? It only changed by -0.7%, which is quite decent. Again, I think there's a lot of it that's due to luck.

Where to go from here

One unexpected change that happened just this month however is losing my job. Fortunately, I should be entitled to benefits, and I do have a substantial amount of emergency savings. So assuming I can find a new job in a reasonable time frame, it shouldn't affect my overall net worth too badly.

As for my stocks portfolio, I've actually invested a bit more in March than I usually do each month. This was an attempt to get a bit more shares while they were cheaper. But otherwise, I'm not planning any major shift. I will still invest once a month, as long as I can, and slowly transfer more CDs and bonds into stocks, in order to achieve a decent balance. An economic crisis is not the time to rework your entire financial plan. It's just the time to ensure you're still on the path.

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