Mon-Thur, 9am-5pm; Fri, 9am-1pm

(865) 691-0898

Covid Confusion

from Kim Spencer,
The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC.

Dear Friends,

Is anyone confused about what our situation is? The internet and news stories are full of conflicting information. Shelter or not, wear masks or don’t. Where did the virus really come from? Is it naturally occurring or was it created in a lab in China? What are the actual numbers of infections and deaths.

How are we to disseminate all the information out there and come to a reasonable conclusion about what is true? I think we must begin with something called System 2 thinking, (see Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, 2011) which is to slow down and take the time to really think about what is happening. System 1 is our automatic response to daily happenings and uses the oldest part of our brain. Think about the times you arrive somewhere by car and don’t remember the trip. We live much of our lives on auto pilot. System 2 requires thinking fully through a problem and identifying our automatic biases.

Here is a problem to illustrate this method. Many of you may have heard this, and most of us will get the answer wrong the first time. ‘A bat and ball cost $1.10 together. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?’ Most of us, using System 1 will say the ball costs $.10, but that is incorrect. The question states that the bat costs $1.00 MORE than the ball. The answer is that the ball costs $.05 and the bat costs $1.05.

During this pandemic, we are following the disease on sites from trusted hospitals and universities, like Johns Hopkins and The University of Washington. STAT is an organization that follows the life sciences and provides articles written about leaders in medicine, biology, epidemiology, and virology. Here is the link to their website,  STAT.

 Another place for guidance is the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This agency was created to lead and coordinate the activities of America’s intelligence agencies, allowing government officials to have the most accurate intelligence available to make national security decisions.    Here is a link to their website, ODNI.  As much as possible, avoid sites that have a history of sensationalizing whatever the story of the day is. They’re just selling advertising, not necessarily concerned with unbiased reporting.

We haven’t returned to the office yet; we are being prudent. We can’t wait until we can spend time with you in person, although I’m not sure when that will be. Until then, please know we are here for you, and contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

One last thing, for my middle son; never buy a new car and never lease one either. When I was trying to choose a topic for this missive, that’s what he wanted me to write about. Maybe I will expound on that later. Stay tuned.

All the best,

The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC

DISCLOSURES: The information provided in this letter is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product, and should not be construed as investment, legal, or tax advice. The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC makes no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by third parties and its use and disclaim any liability arising out of, or reliance on the information. These indexes reflect investments for a limited period of time and do not reflect performance in different economic or market cycles and are not intended to reflect the actual outcomes of any client of The Nalls Sherbakoff Group, LLC. Past performance does not guarantee future results.