Even though our meetings aren't the same, it was still good to see familiar faces on the Zoom Meeting this past Friday.  Gordon Matthews announced that Eric Meyerhoff is one of the recipient's of the Senior Citizens, Inc.  Legends, Leaders, and Life Well Lived awards.  Congratulations Eric and we hope we can celebrate with you soon at The Pirates House!  Gordon also mentioned that 4Q dues were sent out and have been reduced to $200 for the quarter.  Once all Rotary business items were discussed, the meeting was turned over to our very own Jason Jones who gave a recap on the financial markets during this time of COVID-19.  
Jason was an economics major at University of Georgia and is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.  He started by giving a brief recap of how the markets were doing before the spread of COVID-19.  The predictions at the time was that the market was 18 months away from a slow down and the only thing on the horizon was BREXIT.  Within 6 days, the markets went from one of the best bull markets to the best bear market.  On March 23, the S&P hit bottom closing at 2,237.40.  Jason believes all indicators suggest we are slowing moving into the recovery phase but the biggest risk is a 2nd phase of the virus.  Currently, consumer confidence is significantly impaired and consumer savings is at an all time high.  They are predicting home prices will fall and that foreclosures will be on the rise.  
There are many different opinions on the shape the recovery of the markets will take.  This is a very fluid situation in an unprecedented time and only time will tell.  However, the predictions are the market will be back to normal by the end of 2021 and Merrill Lynch is projecting that we have hit bottom.  Jason says this is not a time to panic especially since downturns are expected to happen.  He recommends staying in the market and avoiding any stocks or companies that are based outside the USA.