In his March 8th New York Times column, Carl Richards said it best:
“If you’re worried about the stock market, find someone to give you a hug.”
Our respect for Richards’ perspective is deep-seated, because his insights on personal finance are in stark contrast to so much of the financial-yellow journalism (others call it financial pornography), designed to stoke the emotions of investors. For the better part of the last 3 years, the markets have been on a consistent, prolonged upward trajectory. For most of 2018 however, the markets have experienced a not-so-subtle degree of turbulence, which is natural and ultimately beneficial. Though, as one would expect, the headlines did not delay in latching on to fear uncertain these markets create.
Richards continues on, reassuring readers that, “feeling scared is normal at that moment, and the last thing you need is a lecture from me on the history of long-term stock market returns. You don’t need facts and figures; you need a hug! You need someone to listen to you. You need empathy, kind murmurings, physical affection. An embrace.”
We agree. We know that in times of fear, no matter the context, perspective is the only remedy for what may appear to be a treacherous circumstance. Knowing your goals, objectives, and responsibilities can all be comfortably satisfied, because your money has been sufficiently insulated from a market downturn, should make the headlines irrelevant. Knowing your portfolio holds ownership in thousands of companies, in hundreds of sectors, all over the world, should make hair-raising news about a particular company, sector, or country sound ostensibly like white noise.
…But we know feeling comfortable about your money during times when the markets are volatile is easier said than done. And since you will never find a media outlet willing to tailor their financial reporting specifically to your goals, objectives, and portfolio, you will just have to rely us on for that insight. As we’ve said before, it is perfectly normal to feel uneasy when the market’s behavior is less than ideal, but like we’ve also said before, this too shall pass. In the meantime, live your life, knowing we’ve prepared your money for times like this. If there is something you want to do with your money, let us know and if the headlines are still a bother, we offer free hugs.