It’s a bleak time for both the stock market and the country. Despite the ASX now looking on track to record a third day of gains in a row today (for the first time in a month) – the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has still lost around 30% of its value since mid-February.
Looking at any ASX portfolio today, there will almost certainly be at least some red in there (I know there is in mine). But here are two things to keep you positive in this trying time.
Your shares are still working for you
I’m going out on a limb here and assuming everyone reading hasn’t sold everything right now. Even though your shares might be showing some heavy losses on paper, remember you don’t just own a set of ticker symbols on your broker’s website. Shares represent parcels of ownership in wonderful businesses. These businesses will be doing all they can to survive and even thrive during this difficult time.
Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) for example will be working hard to produce as many medical gloves as it can. Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) will be working around the clock to make sure its shelves remain fully stocked.
And while all this is happening, you will still be receiving dividend payments from many ASX companies – helping to cushion your portfolio and providing you with some valuable income.
Shares are cheap right now
Despite your portfolio probably showing some losses, there is always a silver lining in a dark cloud. The silver lining in this dark time is that many good quality ASX companies under little long-term pressure from the coronavirus shutdown are currently on sale.
In bear markets like this one, shares are often sold indiscriminately – people just want to get out of the market and they don’t care what they are selling. Whilst I understand certain companies like Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) are facing serious issues right now, there are also many ASX companies that I think have far more limited vulnerability today but have been sold off anyway.
So have a think about what shares you were desperate to get your hands on before this crash, have a think about how they might be affected by this dark economic time and how long those effects might last for. You might find you have a bargain staring at you as a result!
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As of 17/3/2020
Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Transurban Group. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Ansell Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.