Covid-19 nightmare reminds us that certainty is ALWAYS an illusion – financial advisor

Written on 04/01/2020
Jackie Cameron

Frank Guthrie says that although Covid-19 has been a major shock to the world, the reality is that certainty is always an illusion, perhaps even a delusion.

When you work for an employer in a full-time job with a permanent contract it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security that you have a regular pay cheque until an official retirement date. But, in a flash, your world can be radically transformed – as the Covid-19 crisis demonstrates. That’s the painful reality for many people around the world, with much of the world in lockdown and many businesses perilously close to collapse. A record 3.3m Americans filed for unemployment in March. Around the world, large organisations and sectors are in deep trouble, from the US energy sector to retailers in South Africa. Frank Guthrie, a financial advisor, says that although Covid-19 has been a major shock to the world, the reality is that certainty is always an illusion, perhaps even a delusion. Plan your affairs accordingly, is his message. – Jackie Cameron

By Frank Guthrie

This is a letter for all my valued clients – most of you are friends as well – I would like to reassure you that I am here and working; available, if you have any concerns or want to make changes to or discuss your portfolio. Plus, it’s important and it makes good business sense, to stay in touch. However, the situation we are in right now takes us way beyond “good business sense”. I ask that you allow me to share some thoughts with you:

Like so many of us, I feel like I’ve lost all sense of certainty, not knowing what happens next, not knowing what is lurking around the corner. Yet, how is that different from what life has always been?

We have not lost our sense of certainty. Any sense of certainty we may have is a delusion. A perception we believe in our own head. We have never had any idea of what the future holds for us. All that this current situation has done is highlight that fact. It has caused us to lose the illusion of certainty. We never had it to begin with. This can be a terrifying reality, or it can be incredibly liberating – our choice to make.

Covid-19 has turned our world on its head; our plans are up in the air, markets are going crazy, downgrades, weaker Rand, entire countries shutting down and there is nothing any of us can do about it. The end result will be the end result, whether we stress and worry about it, or not.  So Stop It.

Here is another illusion; my mind feels like unless I worry, stress, watch every bit of news and gather as much information as possible, then I’m not taking this thing seriously enough and I will lose any control of the situation I may have.

Read also: Inside Covid-19: Survivor’s guide to working remotely; Promising drugs to fight the virus – Ep 9

News flash – I have no control whatsoever. The only thing I can control is my attitude and my response to this turmoil. This is not a new thing it has always applied, yet I’m always surprised when things don’t pan out the way I expected. Now the mask is off. I am forced to accept my powerlessness, my lack of control and my vulnerability. 

Terrifying? Maybe. Yet the great paradox is that I find a sense of peace and comfort in that acceptance.

We don’t know where this will go or what will happen next. Our leaders, medicine, the WHO, all the “experts”, none of them know. Only your G-d * knows – and therein lies the beauty, the sense and the wonder of it all: G-d knows. 

Close your eyes and accept the uncertainty, surrender to it. Embrace your powerlessness. Because in all the confusion there is only one thing I know for sure – I am in G-d’s hands. 

Keep calm. Consider carefully before posting any information, fear is also contagious. Let’s help our government and South Africa by obeying the lockdown restrictions and follow the precautions as advised by health authorities. 

Wash your hands well. And every time you do, remember whose hands you are in.

We will get through this better and stronger – together.


  • Much of what I have written here are paraphrases of other messages I have received, my thanks to those who find the time to send me these inspirations. Particularly thanks to Rabbi Moss.
  • I speak of G-d as I understand G-d. The only thing of which I am sure is that G-d exists and manifests differently in each of us in a way that is perfectly right for us.