In 401(k) accounts, investment advisers encourage investors to have a diverse portfolio to ride the highs in the market and make it through lows in unsettling times. Although nothing relieves the pain of a bear market, too much focus in one sector or another can expose someone to too much downside risk.
A diverse portfolio is proving to pay off in the baking industry as several states closed thousands of restaurants and schools, resulting in a near total collapse of business for foodservice suppliers. While bakeries that serve foodservice and retail customers are better positioned to survive the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the operational shift from one market to another has been incredibly difficult.
One bakery noted that it took them three days to move personnel around to different production lines in different plants — and among various shifts — while scrambling for ingredients, packaging and other supplies. As bread lines ramped up to beyond normal full capacity, then came the distribution challenges because these companies only operate a certain number of trucks and drivers, who often had to make several deliveries a day. Then, bakeries had to figure out how to squeeze in the necessary sanitation and maintenance.
Last week, the shelves looked fuller and a little more normal in many markets, except for the signs that read, “Limit 1 per customer.” On bun lines, one bakery reported it had even started producing for Memorial Day. That’s not making up for the lost business, but it’s keeping valued trained workers employed. No, having a diversified portfolio doesn’t alleviate any of the pain during bad times, but it can help weather the nastiest of storms.