Financial professionals were surprisingly unruffled today as Russian President Vladimir Putin set off an invasion of Ukraine—focusing instead on the longer-term picture for markets, interest rates and the post-Covid economy.

Interviewed advisors viewed market disruptions as short-term and reactionary, as the immediate reaction to the European crisis included a wild swing in equity prices and a surge in oil prices. Cryptocurrencies also cratered, while gold was on the upswing as investors fled to safe havens.

Investors and advdisors “should seek to avoid getting caught up in dramatic events as they unfold. It rarely leads to wise decisions,” Jeff Kleintop, managing director and chief global investment strategist at Schwab, said in a morning blog.

“Markets have already reacted to the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine in a textbook manner akin to prior similar events," he said. "Today they are further reacting to the potential for spillover effects as financial conditions tighten and inflation pressures increase….but a wider war involving NATO or the U.S. is highly unlikely, with all major powers making it clear this isn’t in the cards."

Advisors interviewed by Financial Advisor agreed and were already looking for buying opportunities.

“I think we’re close to a bottom. Markets have been sliding the last few weeks over fears of an invasion and now it’s come. Markets like certainty and they just found it,” said Matt Bacon of Carmichael Hill & Associates in Gaithersburg, Md. “This is an event to buy, in my opinion. It’s not an event to sell and rebalance on.”

That doesn’t mean that Bacon isn’t focused on specific sector performance. “Russia’s economy is about the size of Italy’s and Ukraine’s economy is about the size of Morocco’s," he said. "A war between these countries won’t derail global GDP. No major U.S. corporation is so dependent on Russia that the sanctions that are coming will completely derail them."

Major oil company stocks are rallying today, the wealth manager acknowledged, and “oil and gas will go higher, but they’re most at risk. Some have decently sized operations in Russia and they could lose out on sanctions.”
Meanwhile, Bacon noted that chipmakers will see a hit since much of the world’s palladium supply comes out of Russia and neon comes from Ukraine. “But they’ll rework their supply lines. They’ll be OK,” he said.

Scott Bishop, executive director at Avidian Wealth Solutions in Houston, is also looking for buying opportunities.

To quell client fears, he is sharing charts with clients that depict how quickly the stock market recovered to the past six wars, starting with the U.S. war in Vietnam in 1964.

In all but the Afghanistan War, the stock market went on to new highs within two years of dramatic military invasions.

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