I sit on the ferry next to a friend of mine. He’s the financial controller for one of the largest retail sites in Auckland.

‘We’re allowing staff to wear face masks,’ he tells me.

I reflect on where I’ve just left. Changi Airport at Singapore. But not the usual sparkling, happy airport. Almost every third person wearing a mask. Changing the mood to one of caution. Fear.

It’s that fear that has hit the markets.

In a nutshell:

  • Asian markets are down sharply.
  • AUD and NZD under pressure.
  • Both the ASX and NZX are down heavily.
  • In comparison, the US, Europe — particularly the UK — are less affected since they’re not so export-reliant on China.

Buffett’s mantra rings in my ears: ‘Buy when others are fearful.

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