Here's How COVID Wrongfooted the Financial Experts
COVID caught such a large portion of the world off-guard that it is a wonder we began to adapt and bounce back as quickly as we did. The pandemic has had significant effects across the world, the financial world included. Here are just a few of the ways it impacted the status quo.
The Economy Didn't Take Quite The Hit We Braced For
Most financial experts and economists were gearing up for a recession on par with the mortgage bubble that burst in the late 2000s. While many people did what they could to prepare for the worst, the worst never came.
Instead, many people that found themselves working from home with little to spend their money on began a debt snowball or debt avalanche to pay off some or all of their debt. Some even joined the retail trading craze and took advantage of the Gamestop phenomenon.
The Market Bounced Back Far Quicker Than Expected
Overall, the global markets, not just stateside staples like the CBOT and the NYSE, began building more momentum than they were losing. Many markets show runs lasting twice as long as corrections in most cases, leading to a largely bullish outcome.
Even though investors remain cautious, the outlook is favorable for recovery as vaccinations become more commonplace, and various lockdown and quarantine measures continue easing.
Business Changed Overnight
Management learned that you don't have to physically micromanage all of your employees all of the time. Surprisingly, studies conducted over the first 18 months of the pandemic showed a dramatic increase in efficiency and focus among remote workers.
Industries with no prior experience or reason to work remotely were suddenly scrambling to get people set up with workspaces at home. And while the traditionalists said that remote work and telecommuting could never get the job done, it's done that and more.
Housing Didn't Collapse
Many people, investors and otherwise, had thought that the housing market would be completely devastated by the pandemic.
Not only did the moratorium on evictions essentially save the entire rental industry, but homebuyers didn't skip a beat. Home sales and new home construction remained the same or increased at various points during the bulk of the initial COVID stages.
Many People Lived Normal Lives
Many people lived ordinary lives and came out relatively unscathed, while other people were financially annihilated. Neighbors in similar circumstances with only slightly different jobs saw themselves in wildly disparate situations. Some were able to keep their employment and have their home office set up in days. Others worked tirelessly with a failing social safety net to be able to make ends meet.
A Unique Experience
The recent COVID pandemic created a novel challenge for the world. For most people living today, no amount of preparation or contingency planning would have made them ready for the changes ahead.