Stansberry Research

Doc Eifrig's COVID-19 Briefing No. 4

April 16, 2020

Editor's note: You can find a full transcript of Doc and Matt's briefing, complete with slides, below the video. If you'd like to view a pdf of the slides, click here

Matt: Alright, we are live!

Doc: Great. Hello again, welcome to conversation no. 4. I'm Dr. David Eifrig and with me from a socially distant location is Matt Weinschenk. Matt, welcome.

Matt: Hello, Doc. How are you doing?

Doc: Good. How was your week?

Matt: It was the same as the week before, wasn't it?

Doc: I think so. It seems to be time is flashing before our eyes. And, yeah, it's hard to imagine another Wednesday, so. Let's jump in, shall we?

Matt: Alright we will. So, as we do every week, we'll check in sort of on the virus and a little bit on the economy and then the market. You know, in our first few talks, I think we sort of laid out what we're looking at and the basics of the situation. Now we're just kind of updating on the trends that have been happening.

I notice now that on our title slide here, I should update that S&P 500 chart because, in our first talk, we were talking about the crash and now it's rallying almost halfway back.

Doc: I think leave it. It's reminiscent of…

Matt: There ya go.

Doc: Of what corona can do.

Matt: Leave it for posterity, I guess.

Doc: So I know you're jumping in, but let's go to the most important slide, which is the next one.

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Matt: Yup. Sounds great. Alright, so we'll check in on the virus.

And the basic note here is all good news, right? This is daily confirmed deaths, three-day average. Definitely coming down now, I mean, 1500 deaths a day is certainly not good news, but it's better news than it was a week ago. It would appear that the social distancing and other things that people are doing is working. Or something's working. But the deaths are falling off.

The new confirmed cases… So testing is only going up, right? So maybe some of that surge is testing, coming online, because it was very steep. But testing is still growing. Still not maybe where we need to be, but confirmed cases are coming down.

Now these numbers, you know. People ask about this. There's questionable stuff in all these statistics. We don't know how every department's adding up deaths. We don't know who's not getting tested, there's plenty of people I know, I mean, I'm trying to think do I know 10 people at least, who have had it and not been tested, but maybe their wife was tested. So obviously when the husband got sick, that's what he had, but was not tested, so. Who knows what – if everybody was tested, what the real number would be. But, what we're seeing – confirmed growth in cases and the official number is easing off.

Doc: And you know Matt, I'd go back too and point out to folks that we've been talking about this since we did our first one, that this was happening, that we were seeing this, we were optimistic about it and felt good about it, that things would be handled and would come off.

We talked about how there's a seasonality in this and probably was going to be like most coronas as well, the risk was and the worry was that we'd hit all these ICUs at once and that really came off of the scary data that was coming out of China at the time. Early on, where they had a 4% death rate, so if that had been those kind of numbers, we would have been hit way too hard to handle that. So I'm even more optimistic seeing this and excited about it – we'll talk more about it, we'll dive into it a little bit deeper in a little bit, but yeah, it looks great.

Matt: Yeah and I think, that's just… I've been thinking about this. People kind of go, hey are things going well, should you be scared, blah blah blah. And there's so many, so many different aspects of this that you could be scared of or not scared of and you could think it's going to go away or you could think… so you could be talking about, "oh are you worried about the economy?" Certainly there's a lot of that.

But kind of the one thing that you're addressing there is, at the start of this, it could have been a nightmare scenario for hospitals. And if you got sick, and if you needed even just treatment or a ventilator, there might not be enough room for people. Now, the hospitals are in rough shape, very busy, those hospital workers very tired, overworked, but it's not worst-case scenario. Right? It's stressed but not collapsed. Is that what you'd say? And now it's starting to head in the right direction, so.

Doc: Right, and again we'll… a little bit later we'll probably come into this because I have sort of a little,  slight tirade I think I'm going to head towards.

Matt: Alright.

Doc: You're going to have to pull me in when we get to it. But yeah, this is…  I feel good about this. And feel probably likely that a lot more people than you suspect have already had COVID-19. And that's a good thing because they were asymptomatic and didn't cause any problems with their friends and family either. So, alright.

Matt: Alright.

And this chart is again one we've been looking at. It's sort of the same number of confirmed cases in a different format.

This is where we want to see – the United States, that top red line there is moving past the doubling every three days and moving over towards five, so that's, that's where we want to get. You know, we're still far away from Singapore and Japan near 10 days, China near 10 days. But the curve is bending, as they say. So progress is being made.

Doc: Yeah and I would remind you, or at least have people think about this. The U.S. was really going up steeply and fast probably more because of… we were suddenly testing. That is, we didn't have tests to test it and then suddenly we did, and in many cases we had tests that had to be run in batches and took days and so those kind of all got reported… some of them got reported on a Friday, and the Saturday results came in, Sunday… those all got picked up on Friday and Monday.

And so we saw this huge increase early on in this and might have been a testing statistic as opposed to actual wire, you know, wild spread of this virus. So, anyway.

Matt: Good. Yeah, and I'll… I'd also just like to point people – so we're using these charts from this website, And we've looked at a lot of charts from different places. These are I think, you can see them all real quick, they update them every day, very reputable organization.

So you can go there and you can see these charts. You can play with them. You can put only certain countries on there, so, anyone wanting to dig in deeper, that's a resource I'd recommend, but they're… there's definitely a lot of tools out there. But take a look…

And Doc, this is from you. You're stressing that people should look at the denominator, is that how you would put it?

Doc: Yeah so, and now it really, diving into it more deeply in the last few days, we have to question the nominator – the numerator a little bit. But the denominator. When this first hit the world news from WHO and then made its way to President Trump's desk in the administration, one of the things that people were doing was they were taking the number of deaths and here, you can look at this.

This is old but at 23,000 deaths on this date and at that point there were 231,654 confirmed cases. And so if you looked at that number; divide the numerator, the number of deaths, into the denominator, you would have gotten what's bolded down there, the 9.9%, almost a 10% death rate. And that's scarier than all get out. That means… run for the hills. Isolate, isolate. But in seasonal flu, this is a number that they actually have models from years after years after years after years of post-seasonal analysis of people that actually have antibodies and they're certain that people got it. They estimate the number of cases more to be closer to 38 million at this point.

And again, this is seasonal flu, so this is non-COVID 19. Well, if you divide 23,000 into 38 million, you can see you get a death rate that's… although they're still deaths of 23,000, this is what we see year in and year out. So when you hear people talk about seasonal flu, a couple years back, 17-18, and then in the 12-13, these numbers were high, like 65,000 people died in the flu season. So we have real deaths year after year after year from seasonal flu. We try to make vaccines, the influenza vaccines, they're estimates about what version of the flu might be floating around.

But again, people didn't have a denominator and didn't really… I want to give them credit and say the didn't have the ability to estimate the true denominator, and so they went with just dividing deaths by confirmed cases in China and that looks scary. That looked like a 4 or 5% and that led to people like Fauci and Trump saying you know there are going to be a million deaths in the United States if we don't act quickly. So, enough there, but that's kind of to show you the numerators and denominators that I'm talking about come from. And I – go ahead, next slide.

Matt: Well, actually, let me just ask, so –

Doc: Sure.

Matt: So the number, so we're calling them like shadow cases right? So 231,000 people get the flu and get tested. But 38 million people get the flu and were never tested. So that's the case here, right? If we're talking COVID, what's… and total guesswork here at this point, but what is the multiplier here? It's not going to be that large, we don't think –

Doc: Yeah, so we'll… a couple slides later we'll get into that one German slide.

Matt: Okay.

Doc: So this Germany stuff. But essential- that is the million-dollar question. Is, if you're telling me, you know eight people that got it and didn't have any symptoms and didn't go to the hospital, I'm sure I know eight people, I just haven't contacted them, that have probably gotten it and haven't gone to the hospital, and so you could argue that it's a much higher number of people.

Oh, did we just get disconnected?

Matt: I don't think so. Looks okay to me. My recording's running.

Doc: Okay, I've got no Internet connection at the top of my screen here.

Matt: Well, we're still talking, right?

Doc: Yeah, no no.

Matt: And remember, we're doing this casual everybody, no edits, so you might see that happen.

Doc: Yeah, yeah this is the government coming in.

Matt: Shutting you down.

Doc: Paranoid! Yeah, so that is the question. Tests that are done in China there's some suggestion now that the testing is not as good as it is in other tests. A buddy of mine is analyzing the sensitivity specificity of tons of these tests around the world and the variation on how good these tests are. That is, how good the true positives and true negatives are. Versus false positives and false negatives.

And so, how many estimated cases are there? If it's like a regular seasonal flu, then we're looking at a death rate that's low – much lower than people are talking about. And my suspicions are that's what's going to happen, that's what's going to turn out to be the case. We'll get to that again and I'll allude to it later with some more commentary. But does that answer your question?

Matt: Yeah. And the point of this exercise is to say one, it might not be as deadly as we thought, which is good news for everybody. And we would be further along towards herd immunity if that were the case, if more people have had it. And if you're immune after getting it. So those would be kind of the two factors that would.

Doc: Right, and just so you understand, I've alluded to it – let me just dive in here. The numerator – the CDC, and doctors and physicians all the time, have to decide when they put what a person dies from on death certificate – cause of death, COD. And what's on the so-called toe tag. And right now, it's pretty easy, especially if you're stressed and in a hurry, for somebody in an ICU, someone on a ventilator passes away, and let's say they came in with a heart attack, and made their way into the unit and then passed away.

But everyone's being screened for COVID-19 – death certificates can be signed off on now as COVID-19 cause of death. But what if it's their third heart attack? What if it's their second heart attack, fourth heart attacks? Doctors aren't going to look at that history and then decide, eh, you know what really killed him was their cardiovascular disease – they're going to just put COVID-19. And so you're seeing a lot of people that have other diseases, predisposing conditions, as they say, COVID-19's an easy thing, if it's on the chart, put it down there.

So I worry that that number could be more elevated than it should be. There's some evidence of that, we're not going to dive into that on this talk. But it's something to consider, something to think about. And then that changes again the death rate – it doesn't do it as dramatically as having a two to 10 fold denominator that could be many, many more people have been exposed.

And we have a chart later we'll come to where we might know the answer to that question, which'll set us up for either a dangerous year again next year or we'll be able to go – phew! – this is great. And spoiler alert, I think it's going to be great.

Matt: Okay, good.

Alright. This again, this is what you were talking about before in New York.

Doc: Yeah, yeah. So one of the things that's come up is some friends who are in the medical profession, I've tried to argue this numerator/denominator thing like, oh my God, all these hospitals. They've got hospitals that only had 3,000 ICU beds and now they've got 6,000 or now they've got 4,500. Ah, the world's coming to an end, they're panicked, they're nervous, and I say, no no no, these were mandated increases. Mandated by government. Mandated by institutions and they were put in place as a really big and probably expensive safety net, but don't panic. These things aren't being filled.

And I think we're past the curve, and so in New York City, and this is a couple days old, this is from last Friday. I don't think, you know, I think we're probably past the hump. And they've got you know, 18,500 beds were in use and they've got 140,000 they were estimating – an almost 10-fold difference in what they thought they would need.

So again, did we get ahead of us, I think – phew! – I think we're safe. That's the bottom line.

Matt: Good.

Doc: Next slide…

Yeah, so this is in Germany and what I want to show you here and I hope you can appreciate is other parts of the world keep very, very meticulous records. The Germans and the United States are notorious, some of their institutions, for, in the science side, keeping meticulous records. And here you can see, this is people coming in with influenza-like infections. And so they come in, they're identified as one of the dots on this chart. And you can see, going back in 16-17, and even 17-18, the numbers were worse than they've been for – and this would include for everyone coming in with corona. So black is this year.

So again, did we get ahead of ourselves? This is the flu pattern, annual throughout the course of the year, the middle line in the center is January 1st. I just want to make people aware of it that we've seen worse flu seasons and these include these other bars, these other years, include multiple coronaviruses. So. Not – sorry – well, coronaviruses that aren't this particular strain. Let me put it that way.

Matt: Yeah.

Doc: Alright.

Matt: Alright, so the news is that we are sort of past the curve and things are going down and it looks like you know, another week or two, and we'll see some real progress there. Another week or two of social distancing, whatever you want to call it. So now what people are talking about and thinking about, the next sort of question is how do we reopen things? What's actually you know, we know what the next two weeks look like. What do the next two months and the next year look like?

You know, we like doing charts in this update, so this is a chart from Morgan Stanley that is just one potential sort of path for how things may go.

You can see we get the, we get past the peak you'll know along the bottom there –

Doc: I'm going to interrupt you just for a second, Matt, in case, in case this is blurry, which it occasionally has been, the blue line is daily new cases total in the United States. And this is actual and/or estimated. So it's got it going up still a little bit more, peaking. Right? It's got East and West Coast split, those slightly small gray things. It's got peak in new cases, another small gray line. But I would say look at that big blue line as daily new cases total in the U.S. and how they're expecting it to peak as well and then it comes down. And then, go ahead.

Matt: And then you know, looking at the next stages, you know, this has first wave of workers returning to work in early June, public health getting back up. Another group of people goes to work in they call that mid-summer. Schools reopen in September. And then they have this red line which they're calling the potential second wave of infections, you know when we relax the social distancing, when the winter comes back around, you know, what's going to happen? Now, they've drawn this as a smaller peak than the first one, which is probably likely, it looks about half as high. They don't have on here, you know, are we on lockdown again at that point? What's, why, how does that come back down?

And eventually, maybe in March of next year, a vaccine's available. And that's sort of, sort of the end game here. We'll talk about the other plans in a second, but really we're just trying to stretch things out until we have a vaccine, and we're trying to keep it from overloading the system until we get a vaccine. And the question is how long do we all have to stay inside and how long does the economy have to shut down to achieve that?

Doc: Yeah, and I would just add a comment here. I get nervous, some of the rules and laws are – have been relaxed even more in vaccine-land. And so, I would just caution people to be careful and cognizant of this particular vaccine, I've been reading, they're probably not even going to do animal studies to test its safety. And so, you know, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that none of these cause problems in humans, especially in humans that are trying them early on as the first attempt for safety. And so, man, like I said, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we're not making a huge mistake off of something that looks to be and could end up being a normal coronavirus that is much more around us than we suspect.

What should happen, and I think the critical thing on this slide is to look right around between June 20th and July 20th, it says serology testing widely available, June. And I think that's going to be the money here, because that will tell us and allow us to immediately estimate the denominator, right? That'll tell us is it 38 million, 50 million, only 2 million because we can go out and do a sample of people that will say, no I never had any symptoms, yes I distanced, yes I stayed in my house in wherever it is, and, oh my goodness, I have antibodies to that coronavirus. And if it's more ubiquitous than it is, then it'll just be another common cold-like virus so this is one of these things that I'm very, very excited and hopeful for that data and I think we're going to find that it's much more widespread than we suspected.

Matt: And back to vaccine safety, while we were talking about that… Let me give you my impression and let me know if you, if this is right. So there's… I don't know if the number is dozens, but there are dozens of entirely different approaches that people are taking to create these vaccines. And some of those are based on sort of existing vaccine methods that, where they're changing the target to be coronavirus and some of those are completely novel approaches for this alone. And if you were to look at those, it's kind of obvious that some of those would be – if you were to bet on them, some of them look a lot safer and some of them will be a lot less predictable and we don't know what will happen.

But you know, so you're saying the vaccines may not be safe, but kind of going into it, we might have a better idea of what that might be. There's a wide range of risk that we could be taking on when this comes in. Is that correct?

Doc: Yeah, that's correct. And without going off to be a vaccine denier or some other place where vaccines are the cure and answer to everything, somewhere in the middle is where the truth and good science lies. There's one problem with the vaccine group as a drug and that is Federal law exempt vaccine makers from lawsuits. So that's a weird thing to me.

Now, I don't think that… You know, it's shown that vaccines… People were talking about that story out of the UK a decade ago or longer where the data was falsified, and it was connected to autism. And some pretty smart people looked into that. And that vaccine does not look like to anybody with any sort of science brain that is causes autism. Autism is probably multifactorial. It could be caused by viruses. We just don't know. And I'm not even an autism expert. But we do know that there have been vaccines that have done damage, aren't good, don't work and can cause other problems just like they're drugs.

Just like taking the FDA-approved drug hydroxychloroquine approved for malaria and prophylaxis malaria. If everyone suddenly starts taking it and 10 million people get exposed to it, it will cause deaths to people by doing things that we didn't know if only a few people are taking it for a short period of time.

So that's the concern I have… If all of the sudden governments suddenly mandates that if every health care worker has to take X and we don't even have a safety profile in animal models, man, that makes me nervous.

Matt: So under normal circumstances, vaccines are normally safe. If they're not safe, that is found out and they're removed – in general. But under this emergency situation, we might not be using the safe steps before we give it to people.

Alright, so further on the plan to reopen… This is the big question now. And this chart shows one potential plan. But I've been trying to read some of the others because just the way information is flowing – and there are so many different kind of pieces together – I think, if you read these, it kind of how understand what the goals are and how we might get there.

But it's not that encouraging to me. There are some plans. First of all, we don't have a plan from the government. So we don't know that's going to be. But there are some plans. There's one from the Center for American Progress. If you want to label these things as a little more liberal because somehow this all becomes political. The American Enterprise Institute, which is a little more libertarian has a plan out there. There's one from Harvard. When you read this, they all seem to have some problems if you ask me.

The Center for American Progress is big on the technology sort of surveillance tracking which, I already know, what your opinion of that will be, Doc. But let's set aside the privacy concerns. I just don't know if you can get people to opt-in to the program and download these things and be tracked. That's a central part of that plan to reopen. And I don't know if that's going to happen. Do you have any thoughts on the technology side?

Doc: Yeah, I think that's utter nonsense and people trying to take advantage of a situation that doesn't warrant it. I think we're going to discover that it's on its way out the door and it will be a relatively normal seasonal flu virus. Which, again, we've sort of been thinking that for sometime now. I mean, Google already tracks people any way.

Matt: So then the American Progress Institute – this was actually… I want to say that the lead author was Scott Gottlieb, the FDA guy. I don't know your opinion, but I feel like he's been a good source of information through this. That plan does not have a technology thing, but it's a very slow reopen. They've got triggers and stages to do it. They want 14 days of declining cases and then you can open up a little bit. But they really see this as… Open up a little, you're going to have some more virus surges, then you shut down a little. It's going to be a long path.

I don't know if our government has the stomach for that. I don't know if when you tell people they can go out, and then call to tell them, "Okay, now it's time to go back in"… I don't know how that's going to go over.

The downside to that plan is that it's a long reopening process. According to that, it would be over a year before you do the full reopening, which would be large gatherings and concerts and things like that.

So we're trying to figure out what the reopen plan is. It is still very uncertain.

Market and economy wise, people are expecting a very v-shaped recovery. And I'm getting more skeptical of that happening. But the market is not. What do you think, Doc?

Doc: Yeah, I mean I've been in that same category. I see the dislocations. But I also know that Americans, and the U.S. is a pretty savvy, fun place to be. Apple opened up its stores in China must faster than I thought they would and could. Maybe the same thing could happen here where everyone says, "You know what, man that was two months that I wish I didn't have to go through. But we're through it. Let's rock 'n roll."

We showed that one chart – I think the first time and the second time – that had restaurants having three weeks of cash on hand. I'm hoping restaurants stay in business. I'm hoping that the next people down the line – some of the small stores – that they can stay in business.

Matt: Yeah, well see. So moving on a bit to the economy, this is some interesting data from the National Bureau of Economic Research paper that had access to this data that was really unique. It was basically through a spending app.

This is just showing a short-term view. People were spending about $60 a day just in general through this app. Not on rent of things like that but just purchases. And that went down to $20 by late March there. So that's a huge and fast decline of spending. I just wanted to show how drastic that was. You would imagine it's not turned back up yet, but we'll have to see what it does. But if everyone is spending one-third of what they used to be, that's pretty extreme.

Doc: I can tell you this that we've gone out… And if you go out during a "Happy Hour," you can get a bug, huge nachos with some shredded chicken on top of it. That's dinner. And that's $13. If I do that one night or two nights a week, that leaves me five nights. Let's say I did that every single night, we're talking $140 a week in food costs, and that's with me leaving the tip of $6 every time.

You could easily spend that on one person at a fine dining experience where I crack out a bottle of wine. So yeah, my numbers are down too. Are yours?

Matt: Well, I've got two kids in daycare and daycare is closed. So I'm essentially the richest I've been in three years. So that's good. Other than that, no. No gas. We order deliver when we can. We try to do it more to help out those businesses. But that's about it. It's incredible.

And now here's maybe a good sign…

Unemployment numbers – the initial unemployment claims – have been a phenomenon for sure. We showed some of those charts. But this is a chart of Google search trends of "file for unemployment." And that peaked, it looks like, April 1st. So a little bit of a good sign. I can't think of a reason people would search less unless they were being laid off less.

So maybe we're over at least the initial hump. We'll have to see how long this thing goes. But that's at least one good sign there.

Moving on to markets, I believe, yeah…

We're doing a lot of dividend investing and we're trying to see what will happen with dividends. This is the Dividend Index futures implied rate of dividends on the S&P 500.

This is what the markets are expecting. It's not a person's forecast.  You can go and buy the dividends from specific quarters in the future using a futures contact. And this is they're implying. I can see your skeptical face already, but it gives us a bit of the thought of the perspective.

So, dividends on the S&P might drop from a little over 60 to 35, but then come back up. Is that going to happen? I don't know. But it's the magnitude that may be in play here.

Checking in on our last two indicators…

Credit spreads are coming down. That's good.

The market is rallying. That's good. The VIX is coming down as the market rallies…

We've been talking about lower lows ahead. We thought this rally maybe is a bit of a head fake. You don't want price to dictate your sentiment. In other words, I feel this every day… We thought the market was going to go back down – I did – and then the market goes up and up and up. And you start thinking, "Well, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's not." But you don't just want what the market did yesterday to change your mind or to lead you into what the market might do tomorrow because it just puts you on the wrong side of every turning point.

So I'm, let me see. So let's try and recap this. I'm more optimistic on the virus given the things we've seen. I'm less optimistic on reopening than I have been.

But the other thing we haven't talk about much this week is that really the bet here is the Fed's taken some financial risk off the market. And Congress is trying to take the economic risk out. Are they going to be able to fill that hole or are they not? That's really the No. 1 question that I think determines what you think is going to happen. So I'm more optimistic on that. I don't think we're going to see a huge new crisis in the markets that I may have thought a few weeks ago. But I think this is just a little bit of a rally. I think there will be some more bad news.

We're kind of in the peak of this two-week rally. It's been really strong and fast. And I think, just on a… I don't know if you want to call it technical… But I think that has to cool off and there will be buying opportunities. It's not going to go from here straight back up to 3,500 or anything like that.

That is my gut feeling but it is time to start stepping into some good stocks and some good investments. We have one coming out in Income Intelligence on the same day you'll be watching this.

That's the market recap. There's still a lot of uncertainty about the markets going up. It could go either way. The biggest thing is – and we've written about this for years – you shouldn't be working your investments in the sense of, "Okay, I'm all in the market. Okay, now I'm scared, so I'm all out of the market."

That's not the way to do it. You want to find good names. You can ease in and ease out to lower your exposure when things are overpriced and things like that. But you don't have to make this huge call. You shouldn't be making this huge call to get all in or get all out.

Okay, that's what I'm thinking about the stock market. What about you, Doc?

Doc: As I was mentioning earlier, I think that I'm much more optimistic about the COVID-19 thing. The denominator is going to be huge. We'll find that out with serology come end of June, July. When that data starts coming out, I think we'll see infections and deaths drop very, very quickly. Both as seasonal flus and this one go away. I'm excited about that.

Market wise, I'm still in the same place where I just think that the dislocations and the reality, I just… other than our Jeff Havenstein saying his parents are already booking trips in September, October, I just don't… I don't know. I don't know how fast it could come back. It could come roaring back.

Like people celebrating coming out of being stuck in a cabin during a storm winter in to spring… You get that cabin fever and you pop out and you just want to play. So that's possible. I would be excited for that to happen.

The thing that worries me most is how government and institutions – and this has kind of been my bailiwick – we really have to have robust and honest interactions with people where they'll listen to other sides of stories. And, not to the extremes that this is something that a Chinese government SWAT team came in and created it to destroy the economics of the world. But that creating fear that disrupts it – I'm not going to dive down this whole too deeply.

But this has been studied. There will be more suicides from folks who are getting severely depressed from being isolated. And you worry that no one weighed that and looked at those numbers. And I've seen some numbers with some pretty good researchers that have studied it in the last 25-30 years. Not good. So we've got to be careful about that.

And the worst thing about this – I don't know if you saw this – President Trump just fired the Inspector General Glenn Fine who was the guy who looks over and supervises stuff as the spoils of this new COVID-19 plush bazooka with cash goes to people. And there's working there. There's going to be people grappling and corruption. I fear and feel like maybe we've never seen before. That makes me nervous. That disappoints me and saddens me.   

Matt: Just think about the time where this is happening. I think trust in our government, maybe not an all-time low, but is extraordinarily low and very polarized. It's not just whether you trust Trump or not, but if a democrat was in there, there would be people who didn't trust them. There's extremely low trust in our media. And you talked about if Apple and Google are going to help track people. There's extremely low trust in those companies because of the things they've been doing for years. So, really, now is a time when had all those institutions been building trust and doing things properly for the last five, 10, or however many years, now would be the time when we could use that trust to hopefully help people.

But those things are lacking and that's very disappointing. And we've been paying for what's been going on the last decade or so. Unfortunate to see that.

Doc: Yep. Great. Alright, well…

Matt: So we've got about a minute left. I want to do a real quick question and answer. We do have some questions. We're going to do rapid-fire.

People have been asking specific questions about portfolios on our newsletters. We haven't been talking about that here because we want this to be for everybody and we want – the people who pay for those services – we want to protect their access to those. So we haven't been doing a lot of specific portfolio stuff.

I've been told to speak more slowly and I do apologize. This is about as slow as I get. So I will try. I am trying. But we'll work on that.

Doc, should people wear masks when they go outside or go to stores?

Doc: I don't think it's necessary, but if you want to and it makes you feel comfortable… I certainly have a couple times gone to the grocery store in the last week knowing that the grocery store is more packed than it usually is and I put a glove on one hand and push the cart with it and grabbed food. Wash my hands when I get home.

I just don't want to get the coronavirus. I want everyone else to get it and not have any symptoms. But I don't want to get it and be the one guy that has to go off to the ICU. So I hope the helps.

The mask, we know, when people are on stage from the WHO to the National Institutes of Health saying it only travels six feet. We've talked about this. That's total, utter, absolute garbage nonsense. I cited the case of the plane in the 70s that was stuck on the tarmac for fours hours and basically everyone on the plane got it.

It travels. It travels around and it travels in the air. So [a mask] will reduce it. If someone's got it, I would tell them to wear it so they don't spread it as much. But yeah, I mean, really? We're going to wear a mask for the rest of our lives? No.

Matt: Not the rest of our lives, for sure.

And then, Porter Stansberry has his forever stocks and he's talking about getting into the market. Just in general, should we be buying stuff now? Do you agree with him?

My answer would be yeah. Through any of these declines you could be picking up positions. Even if it was early, late February and the market still hadn't collapse, you could still be carefully stepping in. There are such things as forever stocks. But you don't have to make this huge call. Go ahead, buy stuff you've been looking at. Buy stuff you've been waiting for. Put a little money to work. Scale in a little bit.

I do think that's the right thing to be doing and we've got some new positions coming out. And we've been doing it in our Retirement Trader.

Doc, you agree? Should you be putting a little bit to work here? Is that okay?

Doc: It depends. That's a hard question to answer and I don't want to be pushed into a corner on this. We know – we've talked about this – I'm heavily in cash because I really prefer at this stage in my life to sleep better at night. And I think there are so many dislocations that it's hard for me to look at what to invest in. And, honestly, our best ideas that we come up with are ones I would put my money in. So stuff that we've come up with, I would, but I can't.

I've done some stuff in some mutual funds that try to mimic some of the sectors. So, technology is always going to be with us here. I'm doing some stuff with some gold funds over the years.

You want to be for the long term – 10 years, 15 year. It depends on what you need your money for in the next two to five years. All those are factors and things that we talk about in our letter, Retirement Millionaire. But it depends on where you are, how old you are, and what you're looking to do.

You want to generate income? Then you get into our Income Intelligence letter. But now you've tricked me into selling our newsletters.

Next question.

Matt: That's all I've got. I suppose we'll be talking next week, I suspect.

Doc: You're so funny. If you're free and you're able to go to the office, you're like, "I'm out of there, Doc. I am not working from home anymore."

Matt: Well, everybody stay safe out there. Bye.

Doc: See ya!