Monday, 03 February 2020
We have been invited by financial media to suspect that the blended value of 500 of the largest businesses in America and the world has “lost” three percent, with more “losses” to come, due to the outbreak in China of a new strain of coronavirus. Permit me to doubt this, and to suggest that you, as goal-focused long-term investors, join me in doubting it.
I do not claim to have any idea how far this outbreak will spread, nor how many lives it will claim before it is brought under control. I’m reasonably certain that many (or perhaps most) of the world’s leading virologists and epidemiologists are working on it, and I believe that their efforts will ultimately succeed. Clearly, this is nothing more (or less) than my personal opinion. But if the rich history of similar outbreaks in this century is any guide, this would seem to be a reasonable hypothesis.