It has been a year since I have seen all kinds of lows of 2020. That year turned out to be quite bad. However, it seems like 2021 is not going to be much better when it comes to COVID. But not everything is as bad. This post is a look back at what happened since the last year lows (from my perspective) and how things are now compared to one year ago.
Here are a few lows from a year ago around this time (March – April)
- COVID-19 cases start to rise in India
- Sensex is down more than 35%
- India announces an extremely strict country wide lock down
- Franklin winds up 6 mutual funds in which I hold significant investments
- Lightening strike destroyed valuable electronics
COVID-19 in India
I thought last year was bad with almost 100K cases per day during the peak of the first wave. But now we have already reached more than 350K cases per day in the second wave and we still don’t know if this is the peak. Last year I barely heard anyone from my extended circle fall prey to COVID. This year I have been hearing cases even from my close circles. These are people who are quite careful and yet fell prey to COVID. So I can image how fast the virus must be infecting. This low just got worse from last year.
The stock market index funds dropped like a rock last year when corona cases started to pick up. Now after one year they are up more than 15% from last year’s peak. If you compare from the low, it is up 80% from last year. So this one has recovered quite nicely. My investments are doing alright, not bad and not great since my asset allocation is tilted more towards fixed income which is not as volatile.
Last year we had extremely strict lock downs. Many people suffered because of the way the lock down was announced and executed. No one had time to figure out things and move to a safe place before the curfew begun. This time it is being handled better. Not only are there no central lock downs, but the states are given flexibility.
In Karnataka state where I live, there is 14 day lock down starting today. Fortunately the lock down was not announced with immediate effect and not as strict as before. So there was time for people to prepare. Before the 14 day lock down, there was a weekend curfew in effect. Which was also handled well. So things are improving on this front too.
Franklin debt mutual funds
There was a huge hue and cry when Franklin decided to wind-up 6 mutual funds. But now with Supreme court verdict, things have settled down. I was invested heavily in Franklin ultra short-term fund. The fund has returned about 65% of my investment with interest so far. The rest should come with in 4 years which is fine by me.
Franklin also paid back full amount with interest from a segregated fund. So all is well with Franklin so far.
Loss of electronics
This again was another unexpected event, but thankfully I have fixed and/or recovered most of my setup. The only issue is that I have to move a little bit now because my TV remote control’s power button does not work anymore and the 5.1 system that I build does not have a remote to turn it on. It is quite ironic that most of my house is automated and I never had to lift a finger to turn on lights or fans. Now, just to turn on the TV I have to walk over to it.
All said and done, things have mostly moved in the positive direction as compared to the same time last year. Yet, we need to be more careful than ever. COVID is raging out there. The question now is not if but when we will be infected. We just have to delay it as much as possible. Stay safe, be careful and most importantly don’t panic.