Although the future is foggy, Mark Clure, Certified Financial Planner and principal of EnsoWealth in Mount Shasta, said history “certainly has a rhyme to it,' noting that there have been 10 recessions during his lifetime.

In just two months, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed America’s robust economy into an ailing patient, with more than 20 million jobs lost in April alone. The stock market has plummeted, we’ve had significant political shock, and unemployment levels rival the Great Depression.

Although the future is foggy, Mark Clure, Certified Financial Planner and principal of EnsoWealth in Mount Shasta, said history “certainly has a rhyme to it.”

Born during a recession himself, and graduating high school in the midst of a recession, Clure pointed out that during his lifetime there have been 10 recessions, each triggered by a different crisis and punctuated by claims that “this time is different.”

“And of course, it is,” said Clure, who has been involved with financial planning for more than 25 years. He said crises and ensuing recessions have each had their own unique non-recurring circumstances, and people generally have had nothing in their own experience to compare it with.

“This time around we’ve been walloped by a nasty virus that has decimated health care systems, economies and markets worldwide, and has taken more than 340,000 lives,” Clure said. “It's hit small businesses particularly hard. Gyms, bars, restaurants and retail stores, to name a few, still have bills to pay despite being closed to the public.”

The record breaking declines in employment and economic output have been met with equally record breaking government stimulus, Clure said, exceeding 25% of GDP, with more coming.

“That partially explains the stock market’s recovery of more than 20% of its 34% decline, Clure said.

The stock market is a leading indicator, Clure noted.

“It generally moves into a bear market prior to a recession and enters a new bull market before the economy recovers. Surprisingly, the stock market’s best performance has come during periods of high unemployment, poor corporate earnings and low or negative GDP,” said Clure, although he forewarned investors that past performance does not guarantee future results. Clure said he expects an economic transition, from the consumer dominated economy the U.S. has enjoyed since the 1980s, to one driven by investment.

“Manufacturing of all sorts will move back home, health care will obviously be more prominent, and housing will take on a more significant role,” Clure predicts.

“When investing, take precautionary measures,” he said. “‘Quarantine’ more cash than you typically would ... Focus on large U.S. companies with solid balance sheets. Be mindful, like Dr. Fauci, contemplate continued volatility and don't expect an immediate return to normal.

Clure, who expects a new grandson this summer and has a granddaughter who will graduate from University of California this year.

“My advice to them: choose to be happy no matter the circumstance, be kind, you have no idea what others are enduring, and do your best, nothing more can be expected.”

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News.