Country, COVID, Musings, News, Philippines

COVID Diary Day 4: Philippine Stock Market Closes (…and Reopens)

On Tuesday, March 17, 2nd day of imposed lockdown, I woke up to the news that the Philippine Stock Exchange is closed ‘until further notice’.

Pin needle drops.

I’ve heard a lot of COVID-19 news over the past months, but this is the moment I knew that shit just got real.

I don’t know a single event in history where the stock market closed down. Even in other countries like China, Italy, Singapore and Iran; they likewise experienced lockdown but did not close their markets. The Philippines became the first country to shut off its financial markets following quarantine measures to contain the pandemic.

Malls close down. Bars, restaurants, and courts–sure.But the financial markets, rarely ever.

It’s not to say that financial markets around the world are safe–they have plunged significantly, erasing several years’ worth of profits, and billions of shareholder money.

They say closure of the stock market is integral to mitigating anxiety, and preventing mass hysteria. But the closure of PSE had the reverse effect on me, as the markets cut down access to my stock portfolio; and I have no freedom of choice to liquidate it or not.

Is the world coming to an end?!?

The Philippines was quick to realize their mistake and resumed stock exchange by Thursday.

Yet, even though agencies were quick to make amends in this decision, I think this could still hold long-term effects especially altering economic behaviors.

Personally, I’m developing some serious trust issues–especially if the world leaders really know what they are doing.

The shutdown, whether short or long, will cause real damage to investments–and more severely, cause irreversible damage to trust towards our leaders.

Is this a levelheaded decision and a sound strategy? Or is this a haphazard decision done in the heat of the moment? The more you think about it, the more unlikely the former to be.

Personal Sentiments

One camp says to ‘buy the dip’, and the other party is retracting all their investments from the stock market. Remember that we are all trading on sentiment, but rather than get too excited or too panicky, stick to your strategy and continue investing week by week incrementally.

Sounds like boring, predictable advice. But if there’s one place to remain stoic right now, it better be in the stock exchange.

More COVID Diary Entries here:

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