Hello everyone and Happy Fall!
My family and I spent the last couple of days buttoning up the yard, picking the remaining harvest from the garden and carving pumpkins (early this year - we even had two that were home grown!). While doing the tasks that I know lead to the “brrrrrrrrrrr season”, I knew my personal investment statement had arrived in the mail (yes - I’m still old school paper statements…) and I dreaded opening it.
Now, for me, that feeling is very rare as I have daily access to valuations but, like I have advised in the past, I do not look. I’ve always said that looking daily, weekly or even monthly at my investments does nothing to help. It’s like watching the weather report days before and the morning of a big family gathering at the lake/pool/beach. It’s like monitoring your body’s temperature every hour when you start the day with a small fever. It’s like watching the MN Vikings take another game deep into the fourth quarter when they should have put the game away much earlier….
Clearly, your money is as, or more, serious as any of these scenarios. The similarities are that in each of them, we have limited control of what happens day to day. With our investments we control:
• Our strategy. If you are young and pre-retirement, you need to stay invested and keep investing. Down market times historically are times of power for Main Street investors (us!). Being consistent in your ongoing investing and sticking to your targets has proven, over time, to be the right decision. You are retired? Be reminded of some of the defensive maneuvering that we started to use before and during the time when the markets started to be unsteady. In both cases, we are always here to review your strategy with us next time we chat to make sure you are comfortable.
• Our emotions. While trying and sometimes exhausting times in the investment world of today, we have to remember that, like the other scenarios mentioned, our emotional responses to any of them do not help. As loudly as I’ve screamed at the TV in the past and thrown the foam brick (yes I have one…) at the TV based on a bad play or blown call, my emotions have never influenced the outcome. Our world is FULL of media sources trying to invoke our emotions at every turn. Wall Street uses the media to get under Main Street's skin and pushes fear. Unfortunately many Main Street investors act on that fear and make very bad decisions that may FEEL good at the moment. But, unless those frightened Main Street investors know more than those working on Wall Street, Main Street often gets played and ends up losing while Wall Street laughs and continues to make their Yacht payments.
• Your Life Plans. Do not let the markets or down statements run how you run your life. As many of you have heard, my advice continues to be to be a good American and keep on doing what you are doing. Have you noticed the roads? The mall? How many months will it still take to get many models of new vehicles? People are still living life and I encourage you to do the same knowing that we are here to assist in any way we can and to review your long term financial plan whenever you want!
This whole note ended up being much longer than anticipated-thank you for staying tuned in. Please:
• Know that my team and I are watching and we are not only drawing on our years of experience
with tough markets but are also reading, watching, paying attention to all of the resources
and info that we have access to. Turning this info into knowledge to help is always our goal -
especially during times like these.
• Your feelings on this topic are very important to us. YOU are important to us and our doors are
always open to talk through how this has been impacting you! Please reach out if you have
any questions, need a reminder of the strategies we have already put in place, or just want a
good hand holding!
No one knows when this rough market season will pass. As in the past, it will likely change for the better
when Main Street is no longer paying attention and not looking. Your patience, if history is any guide,
will be rewarded. Thank you all for the kind words and support you have given me and my team during
these turbulent times!
Below you will find some links to resources on our website that talk about some
of the topics hot in the financial news these days.