Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine. The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics.
In this series I will be sharing posts from the last six months of 2020
It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 46,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. Head over to find out how to participate: Posts from Your Archives 2021
This is the first post from author and finance expert Sharon Marcisello with a post that is relevant for most of us in the uncertain financial climate we have been experiencing in the last ten months.
Reversal of Fortune by Sharon Marchisello
Even though stock market indexes have almost returned to pre-pandemic levels and unemployment rates are declining again, all is not well. While some industries are thriving, others are a long way from recovery.
Only time will tell if they’ll go the way of buggy-whip manufacturers after the invention of the automobile.
Event planners and owners of conference halls and theatres are still hurting. With so many free Zoom webinars now available, can organizers really charge as much for a virtual experience? All the businesses that supported large events are now scrambling for customers, and the smart ones are reinventing themselves. Could we see the return of drive-in movies?
My husband works in the airline industry, which has been hit particularly hard. In February, employees received record-breaking profit-sharing checks. In March, the airline cut its schedule by 90% and was burning through $50 million a day. Thousands of employees were encouraged—or forced—to take voluntary leaves or exit packages. Government assistance was the only reason the airline didn’t immediately furlough most of its workforce and demand pay cuts from those who remained. We all know that’s coming once the assistance runs out.
We used to take a lot of cruise vacations; in 2019, we took four. This year, none. We’d scheduled a cruise for April, but then the cruise line suspended its voyages ahead of the no-sail order. I still receive weekly emails from travel agencies touting enticing sailings—first for fall and winter of 2020, now for spring and summer of 2021—but I’m not biting. It took us over 60 days to get our refund from our April cruise that got canceled, and the no-sail order keeps being extended. I feel sorry for owners of travel agencies and people who work in the tour industry. I believe demand will return one day, but how long can they hang on until that happens?
Stocks in these industries have suffered accordingly. Investors have made money through short-term speculation, but if you purchased these stocks before March, you’re still in the red.
No one can predict the future, determine tomorrow’s winners and losers, so how do you prepare?
If you’re an investor, diversify. Tech stocks are hot now but don’t put all your money there. Remember the tech bubble at the turn of the century? If your nest egg is spread out among different baskets, you’re unlikely to lose it all if one sector tanks. As I mentioned, the Dow is soaring again, but a different mix is driving the averages.
If you’re an employee or a business owner, build expertise that will transfer across industries. Take advantage of downtime to learn new skills or update proficiency. Never stop networking and don’t burn bridges.
Having emergency cash is essential. I’ve done several posts about the value of accumulating and maintaining an emergency fund—at least three to six months’ living expenses in a liquid, low-risk account. The only reason most of the airlines are still in business was that they had billions of dollars in cash on hand, accumulated when business was booming. Even so, only government assistance saved them from burning through all that cash before revenues could return. Such a reversal of fortune!
Look for ways to shrink your financial footprint. Cut unnecessary spending, reduce debt. The less money it takes to sustain your lifestyle, the longer your emergency funds will last, and the less likely you are to suffer a reversal of fortune.
What are your thoughts about preparing for the unexpected? I’d love to hear your comments.
©Sharon Marchisello 2020
About Sharon Marchisello
Sharon Marchisello is the author of two mysteries published by Sunbury Press, Going Home (2014) and Secrets of the Galapagos (2019). She is an active member of Sisters in Crime.
She contributed short stories to anthologies Shhhh…Murder! (Darkhouse Books, 2018) and Finally Home (Bienvenue Press, 2019). Her personal finance book Live Well, Grow Wealth was originally published as Live Cheaply, Be Happy, Grow Wealthy, an e-book on Smashwords. Sharon has published travel articles, book reviews, and corporate training manuals, and she writes a personal finance blog called Countdown to Financial Fitness.
She grew up in Tyler, Texas, and earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Houston in French and English. She studied for a year in Tours, France, on a Rotary scholarship and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.
Retired from a 27-year career with Delta Air Lines, she lives in Peachtree City, Georgia, doing volunteer work for the Fayette Humane Society and the Fayette County Master Gardeners UGA Extension.
Books by Sharon Marchisello
My review for Secrets of the Galapagos November 10th 2020
What an amazing location to set this novel which rapidly turns a cruise of a lifetime into a murder scene, and a deepening mystery about the star of the Galapagos islands, a giant tortoise called Tio Armando.
These celebrated islands are heavily reliant on tourism for the funding of conservation projects involving the unique flora and fauna, some of which is near extinction. There are several interested parties in maintaining this lucrative business opportunity and some are therefore keen to cover up discrepancies and even murder.
Things are not adding up on board the luxury cruise liner and the mystery deepens as one of the passengers appears to have disappeared under suspicious circumstances. This is followed as the passengers disembark for guided tours of the various conservation projects to find that promised exhibits are missing.
Giovanna is not only there to take in the sights and is on a mission to expose and get justice after being fleeced by a habitual conman, discovering in the processs that she is not the only one aboard the ship who has been taken to the cleaners. The subject of her investigation however has his own agenda, with prospective victims already drawn into his schemes. Lives are at risk as well as fortunes and the action heats up in a race against time.
The author has written articles on her visit to the Galapagos Islands and clearly spent her time well on researching the various islands and conservation efforts. This gives the novel a very authentic feel.
The action is played out on the ship, in the waters rich with marine life surrounding the islands and ashore as the group of sightseers visit scientific projects and the capital of the Galapagos.
The players are diverse and some of them you wouldn’t necessarily want to be trapped on a cruise liner with, but all have a part to play as the mystery unravels. There are some lovely interludes as we tag along with the passengers exploring this incredible region, where we are introduced to the wonders of the nature to be found there. And there is also the burgeoning romance between Giovanna and the young detective, who may be the only person who can bring all the threads of this mystery together to provide us with a satisfactory conclusion.
This is an exciting adventure as well as a murder mystery with the bonus of being a wonderful introduction to the Galapagos Islands.
Thank you for joining us today and I know that Sharon would love your feedback.. another post from her archives in two weeks.. thanks Sally.