MY TWO CENTS:
Please allow me to help you set the stage for today’s edition of MTC. If you’re reading this with any part of the 24 hour news cycle running in the background, please take a second to mute that input. Then, dim the lights and take three consecutive long, deep breaths. And, finally, if soft music helps you remain calm, turn on your favorite relaxation tune as you settle into this brief respite.
There…now isn’t that better?
In all seriousness, this has been a stressful week for many people. You can’t turn on a media outlet or pick up your ever-vibrating phone without hearing about the latest piece of chaos. Whether that is related to the Coronavirus outbreak and perceived lack of containment or the stock markets’ panic that everything financial will grind to a halt and we’ll all be destitute, there’s much about which to be afraid.
While I often use this media to wax philosophical, I seldom share specific investment or financial planning topics. This edition, however, is dedicated to the practical as an effort to draw you into deeper peace and joy in the midst of chaos.
Our office has received few (read: zero) panicked calls from clients regarding the stock market value decline this week. I wish I could say that is because we are tremendous prognosticators who always time the highs and lows of the markets correctly. That is just not the case!
Instead, we have spent a great deal of time working out purposeful allocations for each client. Those allocations are established with the intent of supporting what really matters most to each person and family. What that means is clients are able to continue pursuing their highest priorities just like last week or the week before regardless of what the markets are doing.
There is NO magic to this strategy. Clients who owns stock positions will see the value of those positions decline during weeks like this. Clients taking income from their portfolios only have an issue with these lower value stocks when their plan requires them to sell some of those stocks RIGHT NOW to raise the cash necessary for that income.
Nutshell: stocks go up in value and stocks go down in value, and our plan MUST consider both scenarios for our clients to stay focused on stuff that matters more to them than the most recent round of news-hyped fear.
We’ve been here before and survived. I’m confident that this current round of chaos will sort itself out much like times in the past. Through it all, I hope that you can fully embrace the areas of your life you feel called to invest yourself with peace, joy, and confidence that everything is in order. If not…please give us a call so we can be alongside you through the journey.
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®