The coronavirus pandemic is causing great emotional, mental, and financial challenges for many Americans. Some things are out of our control; you may not be able to control whether or not you lose your job, but you can turn a challenge into an opportunity. You may not be able to control how much time you are forced to spend indoors due to the pandemic, but there are ways you can make the most out of your time. Here’s how you can turn several coronavirus challenges into opportunities.
Dealing with job loss
Millions of Americans have either temporarily or permanently lost their job in the past month. The economy remains shut down in many sectors across the country. Job loss from coronavirus has been unexpected and sudden. Nobody really wants to lose their job; if you disliked your job enough, you would just quit. However, unexpected job loss due to coronavirus could be turned into an opportunity for many Americans.
As many as 63% of people are unhappy with their job. These workers aren’t necessarily unhappy enough to quit, but they may be happier doing something else. It’s safe to say that millions of workers who just lost their jobs were part of that group. As bad as job loss is, it may provide you with an opportunity to explore interests that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.
If you aren’t sure when you’ll be able to go back to work, spend some time in quarantine exploring what you like to do. The average American changes jobs about 10 to 15 times in their life, and it is never too late to go back to school or try out a different career.
An opportunity to build relationships
Not many people enjoy being stuck inside, unable to go to restaurants, movies, or gyms, but your time in quarantine can be beneficial. You’ll likely be spending more time with the members of your household than you ever have. This can give you the opportunity to further build on the important relationships with the ones you love the most. Normally, you may only see your partner or other members of your household when you’re both home from work for a few hours in the evening. Spending most of your time together indoors gives you plenty of opportunities to re-connect and build your relationship, but don’t forget to take time for yourself in a different room from time to time. Extra time together is great, but you shouldn’t be together 24/7, no matter how much you love the other person.
Dealing with investment loss
If you have any substantial sum of money invested in the market, you’ve probably watched your investments decline in value over the past few months. It is never fun to watch your portfolio lose value, especially if you are closer to retirement, but now is a great time to re-evaluate your investments. Start by comparing the return of your portfolio to the return of the market; if your portfolio went down more or the same as the market, you may need to re-evaluate your risk tolerance. A well-designed portfolio should capture most of the market upside, but not as much of the downside. For example, if your portfolio captures 80% of the market’s gains, in an ideal world it should capture less than 80% of the market’s losses.
It is easy to have a high risk tolerance when the market is going up, but more difficult when the market declines. If your portfolio recently dropped more than you can stomach, you may need to re-evaluate your risk tolerance.
The market downturn makes an even stronger case for investing early and often. You may not be able to time the market, but you do have the chance to invest money into the market at a price lower than it was a few months or even a year ago. Bull markets are normally substantially longer than bear markets, so when a bear market does come around it can be a great opportunity to invest at a lower cost than you would have otherwise.
Many Americans are facing more financial adversity than they ever have, with job loss, the market downturn, and the closure of many small businesses. Our latest show, “5 Ways You Can Overcome Financial Adversity During a Pandemic!,” provides you the tools needed to overcome that adversity. Watch it now on YouTube below.