O’Farrell Wealth & Estate Planning works in partnership with Assante Wealth Management to offer a full range of investment solutions. The creation of our wealth management team ensures we are delivering suitable financial solutions in the developing investment landscape.
The wealth management team actively monitors the markets to identify investment opportunities for our client’s portfolios. This team works closely with our advisors to develop tailor-made solutions to meet your retirement goals.
Our objective is to keep our clients informed on the latest market developments and provide some perspective on the major themes we see in the economy.
Two of the world’s biggest virus hotspots, Italy and Spain, have shown a decrease in the number of daily new virus cases after two-to-four weeks of strict lockdown measures. While the return to normalcy may still be far away, the progress seen in these countries in bringing the pandemic under control is encouraging.
A vaccine for COVID-19 continues to be researched. There is an interesting study on a Tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) that demonstrates that those who have been inoculated with BCG vaccine are six times less likely to contract COVID-19. The BCG vaccine has other promising effects such as reducing respiratory illness and boosting the immune system. Countries with mandatory BCG vaccinations have had much less impact from the virus in comparison to countries where this vaccination is voluntary.
This study is promising as the safety profile of the BCG vaccine is well established and some production capacity is already in place. Subject to the positive outcome of trials, this could be a potent addition to the arsenal of drugs available to healthcare providers to manage COVID-19 until a targeted vaccine is developed. If you are interested in reading the study, the link can be found below.
With Global coronavirus cases increasing from ~1 million to ~3.26 million (as of this writing); the month of April is shaping up to be the worst month this year for economic activity and the disruption of day to day life. Nevertheless, evidence from countries that have successfully flattened the curve indicate there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The Collapse of Oil
The month of April saw oil prices collapse to new lows as a result of a disagreement between OPEC+ members Saudi Arabia and Russia on reducing their oil production amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Russia’s refusal to cut production lead to Saudi Arabia flooding the market with an oversupply of oil, placing downward pressure on prices. In an attempt to support the price of oil, the US administration extended production cuts to assist OPEC+ in finding a solution to their ongoing feud. As of last week, OPEC+ has come to an agreement to reduce production by 9.7 million barrels a day beginning in May, while a deal was made with the US to cut production by ~300,000 barrels per day.
After an initial positive reaction, oil gains had reverted as the proposed production cuts did not seem to be enough to offset the expected demand decline due to the pandemic. The dislocation in oil prices took an extreme turn on April 20th when crude oil contracts traded at -$38 per barrel largely due to storage capacity limitations. This situation has since resolved with WTI crude oil trading at ~$19.12 as of this writing.
As always, thank you for your referrals this month! They are always handled with great care and discretion.
“Is Global BCG Vaccination Coverage Relevant To The Progression Of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic?”