Broker Check


Sierra Financial Advisory

April, 2020


Market Summary: The stock market indexes pulled back some 35% in one month from late February to late March.  As of this writing, the markets have bounced and are down about 20% year to date.  Managing your money in such a volatile environment can feel like a losing battle.  Several years’ worth of gains are wiped out in a few short weeks.  The temptation to sell and go to cash is strong.  I understand that.  Here is some of my thinking on the current situation:

  • If you do not need spending cash from your investment account, do not sell now. The chances are low that investments that are sold today will then be purchased at a lower price in the future.  A better long-term strategy is to hold.  
  • If you hold cash in your accounts from earlier sales, I am not in a hurry to deploy that cash into the market. These upward surges are tempting but are not likely the long-term move up we seek.  I think the market lows of last week will be tested before this is all over.  Waiting for that will take patience.  It could take days, weeks or months. 
  • There is a big difference between selling some and selling all. If you are inclined to sell everything and sit in cash, I will recommend selling some to slow down the portfolio speed and to decrease investment exposure to the stock market.  This will give us a fighting chance to participate on the market recovery when it happens.  Trying to time getting out and getting back in, on the other hand, is almost always a losing proposition.

 Congress passed a huge emergency spending bill last week to shore up the U.S. economy as we wait for Covid-19 to run its course.  Three important elements that may impact you:

  • IRA required minimum distributions (RMDs) are not required in 2020. If it is better for your pocketbook, you can opt to skip the RMD for 2020.  If you would like to skip this year’s RMD, please contact our office.  We will need to actively stop your distribution before it goes out.
  • Every taxpayer with a gross income of less than $75,000 for an individual, $150,000 for a couple filing jointly, will receive a $1,200 tax rebate. Checks are scheduled to go out in early April.
  • Small business loans are available for 2.5 times monthly payroll. If a business does not lay off any employees, the loan becomes a grant and will not have to be paid back.  A similar plan is available for non-profit organizations.
  • Effective between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, if you have been adversely affected by Covid-19, withdrawals up to 100k from qualified plans such as 401ks and IRA’s will not be charged the normal 10% penalty for those under 59 ½.


I am available for you. Send an e-mail,, or call me 800-969-8939.  Do not worry about the time or day.  Leave a message if I do not answer.  I will get back to you as soon as I can.  We will get through this, one day at a time.




Joe Tomkiewicz MS, CFP® President Sierra Financial Advisory

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