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An Open Easter Letter During a Pandemic

The following is an excerpt of our Easter letter to our clients. It does not make any recommendation nor imply any guarantee of future performance. It is intended for informational use only. Happy Easter!

There is an old saying, “May you live in interesting times.” For better or for worse, we live in interesting times. While these are times of danger and fear; they can also be a time filled with hope & inner peace. Our civilization is the most creative in all of history. As such, there is hope that a cure for the coronavirus will be found soon. Even with the economy basically being shut down and many jobs being lost, there is hope for an eventual economic recovery and provisions from the hand of the Almighty God.

Old-timers, like me, vividly remember the great crisis our nation faced in 1973. The OPEC embargo and the gas shortages. Then, much like now, the market crashed, fear grew, good people lost jobs, and lines formed. It was one of our nation’s most difficult challenges. While it imprinted us permanently and was a very hard time, it was also finite. Just like with the return of spring, after the issues of 1973 were dealt with, new opportunities for healing and growth eventually blossomed and spread across our land.

I recently saw a video clip of Billy Graham from a crusade in 1973. Here is an excerpt of what he said. “Habakkuk said, ‘Lord, please tell me what you are doing. And God said, No, I’m not going to tell you Habakkuk. Because if I told you what I was doing, you wouldn’t believe it.’  If God today told us what He’s doing in the world, we wouldn’t believe it. Don’t you think God’s given up and God’s abdicated, and God’s left the throne. He hasn’t! He’s still on the throne! And those of us that know Him, put our trust in Him and Him alone. I don’t put my trust in Washington. I don’t put my trust in the United Nations. I don’t put my trust in myself. I don’t put trust in my money. I put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ! When all the rest of it fails and crumbles and shatters, He will be there!”

Our team has been praying for you and your loved ones. Our hope is that you are well physically, emotionally and spiritually. We have been working hard to protect you financially. We are putting in long days and spending many hours researching, developing and executing plans intended to properly position your assets for what lies ahead… after Covid-19, after the recession, and after things return to normal. They always have in the past. We believe they will again this time.

The recent losses suffered by the stock market are significant. The Dow Jones Industrial Average just finished its worst 1st quarter ever, (-23.2%) and its second worst three-month stretch since the December quarter of 1987, when it fell (-25.3%). As you would expect, your investments show losses for the year. We take that seriously. Fortunately, our disciplined process of studying the daily math of the market enabled us to recognize a change in the market’s character early on, to which we took defensive measures in our strategies that insulated your assets from larger losses during the quarter. Praise God.

We welcome any questions you may have. Please feel free to call us to schedule a brief call, or for a more detailed performance review. While the social distancing rules have temporarily curtailed face-to-face meetings, we are pleased to offer many other ways to connect with us; on a phone call, a Skype – Facetime- or Zoom video call, or email. If you do desire an appointment, please let my team know your preferred form of communication and we will make it happen.

Speaking of our team, we are all healthy and we remain fully engaged in the management of your investments. Our dual mandate of protecting your assets in difficult markets and growing them in fruitful markets is in place. We thank you for your patience during this time and for your trust in us.

Finally, when thinking about the word hope, many of us think about Easter. Like Dr. Graham said, “He has not left the throne!”

The important meaning of Passover and the celebration of the Resurrection is a great anchor in distressing times. We wish you a healthy, peaceful and hopeful Easter as you draw near to the Savior.

Have a triumphant day!

Warmly & sincerely,

James Jon Benet

Psalm 23 (NASB)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The information in this article is based on data obtained from recognized services and sources and is believed to be reliable. Any opinions, projections or recommendations in this report are subject to change without notice and are not intended as individual investment advice. Not to be used as legal or tax advice.
©2020 Triumphant Portfolio Management, LLC.

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