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The world is currently on lock-down and waiting, with fingers crossed, for experts to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Businesses are shut down, people have been laid off, and those who still have jobs are licking the wounds inflicted by pay cuts. The virus which began in Wuhan, China, has since swept across the globe, leaving death and fear in its wake. Current statistics place the total number of cases at 1,348,628 with a death toll of 74,816 and chances are that by the time you read this, the numbers will have increased.
Experts project an even more increase in these numbers within the next few weeks. In Kenya, the current statistics comes to 158 cases with 6 deaths. In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, the Kenyan government has put certain towns including the Capital Nairobi & Mombasa in confinement.
Economic Repercussions of COVID-19
You don’t need an expert to tell you about the health repercussions of the pandemic as they are glaring; however, not many people have come to terms with the economic and financial implications of this pandemic.
On a microeconomics level, a number of offices and businesses in specific sectors of the economy have shut down, placing a temporary restrain on the livelihood of many. From a financial perspective, the best way to survive this pandemic is by inculcating good financial habits. Good financial habits provide security by giving you something to fall back on in times like these where the economy is crippling.
Broadly, there are two major ways to improve your financial health and they include saving and investing. As two sides of a complete coin, while saving provides you with something to fall back on like an emergency fund of some sort, investing allows your money work for you even when you cannot work for yourself.
Saving during this pandemic involves setting aside emergency funds as well as cutting down on expenses and taking advantage of discounts and free services during this period. Traditional financial advice says, you should always have 3-6 months’ worth of salary set aside for emergencies. If you don’t have this, you can convert your savings into your emergency fund.
Saving requires frugality and a near elimination of unnecessary expenses. Even as you spend on essentials, to survive periods as these, it is important to be careful so as not to spend too much hoarding supplies.
It may seem like this is the worst time to invest, but history teaches that times of great crisis presents great opportunity. With investment securities taking a dip, stock prices and other money market instruments present good investment opportunities. In essence, you can take advantage of low stock prices via equity funds and mutual funds. It is also, however, a period to be careful so as not to take wrong financial or investment decisions.
Before investing in stocks, you should have analyzed them adequately to make sure they have good sound fundamentals and sustainable value. For investments in the local stock markets, follow the latest trends to find amazing equity investment opportunities. Many disasters have come and gone. As we hold on to hope for this too to pass, there is nothing better than being on the list of those who not just made it out unscathed but those who also took advantage of the opportunities lurking beneath the madness.