Covisory Update - So what is the new normal?

Isn't it great to be back to a more normal, open, and enjoyable life? I really loved the rugby at the weekend, although the PGA Golf was a bit weird with no crowds and limited coverage.

As I talk with you, we invariably end up discussing the "new normal" and what it is. To date it appears to look a lot like the old normal as we can do a lot of things now; things that we missed. Life can look very much the same as before. But is it really?

Clearly there are some differences which are obvious and some that are not, including:

  1. International travel – how many of us have had travel plans changed or cancelled, let alone those wanting to get married. How many people will have to endure a NZ winter for the first time in many years?
  2. Shops are open and we are buying, or are we? There was pent up demand post lockdown, but with the uncertain future, it’s not quite life as before. COVID-19 has changed how and where we are choosing to spend our hard-earned cash. We are cautious, worried, and tighter with our money than before.
    • We are spending but where we are spending has changed and the levels of spending are down,
    • We need to keep some money aside for a rainy day is what the subconscious is saying. And that reduced spending will have as big an impact as the lack of tourists.
  3. Bad news must be coming – but how bad? There will be redundancies unless the Government keeps endlessly extending the wage subsidy. Who, how many and when are all the big questions?
  4. Currently, many of you are cashed up and out looking for bargains. 1987 and 2007 tell us however that the bad times can take up to 2 years to bite, so maybe waiting and keeping the cash ready will be required for some time yet.
    • History teaches us that new innovations and business directions are born out of exactly these events – are we looking in the right places for these opportunities?
  5. Low-interest rates certainly are offsetting the bad news. House prices are okay, and there is strong demand from first home buyers.

So maybe the new normal has the outward appearance of being familiar but with a bit of an edge or nervous anxiety to temper it, but with a dark underbelly that we both fear and welcome for what will hopefully be the bargains that it may bring to us.

For now, we are however a lot more grateful for what we do have. We are also prepared to talk more openly and often, and that cannot be a bad thing. Let us keep the communication up, and share ideas and thoughts. That has to be one of the better parts to come from the new normal.