Lately it seems that reaching Friday is a goal in itself. In markets like these it is not easy to “keep calm and carry on” as if there is nothing different going on. There are, in fact, multiple very different things going on. The coming weeks and months may bring even more different events and uneasiness – with a bit of good mixed in.
So, then the question becomes, “What is important NOW?” It may be tempting to answer:
- Federal Reserve policy on interest rates
- the coming November elections
- mortgage rates
- the level of inflation
- energy prices
- the US and world economies.
These things and more all matter; but not as much as important, fundamental closer-to-home items and questions such as –
- If high inflation persists for 6 to 12 more months, what will that do to my personal spending? What might I need to cut back on temporarily or postpone?
- What are my cash reserves or cash savings? In the event of an untimely kids, family, car, or house “emergency” over the next year, do I have ample cash to be able to pay quickly and easily to fix something?
- What things are most important to me? Am I focusing on doing and paying for these important, major things to keep matters steady and my spirits high?
- Am I able to maintain even a reduced long-term savings plan to take advantage of the longest stock market weakness in nearly a decade?
- Important: Are my goals still intact? What adjustments and planning may need to take place around the timing or scale of various goals (vacations, new home purchases, remodeling, dare I say weddings – even timing of retirement)?
- Am I in touch with my financial adviser regarding planning, questions, fears, concerns?
At a recent dinner with clients (names changed to protect the innocent) Tom, his wife Jane and their friend Chuck said that they value having the support and partnership with me as their adviser during these challenging times. At the same time, they are even more aware of the value they demand from me as their adviser. These types of conversations need to be happening with clients and their financial adviser. Perhaps there is nothing more important than clear, honest communication – for a “gut check” or to adjust or confirm goals.
Please ask me about any of these questions and more. Thank you for the trust you place in me in these most difficult of times.