Control What You Can Control
One benefit of aging is experience. Although Larry and I are technically y’old’s (young olds), we’ve seen our share of incredibly great times and incredibly difficult times. It has shaped our perspectives as parents, spouses, friends and as financial planners.
Many of our clients have often heard us ask “Are you happy with your work, how you spend your time, the quality of your relationships? Is how you are living and spending your money aligned with your values and goals for a good life?
We emphasize this because we cannot predict the future. Most of us will live a very long life, some will die too young, and all of us will face challenges along the way. We need to make the best of every day so our regrets are minimized if our dance ends way too soon.
Financial planning has traditionally focused on investing and planning for retirement. That focus is mostly misplaced. Financial planning needs to be about creating a better life in the present and at the same time create resiliency for whatever happens along the way. This has long been our approach in what we do for our clients.
So, what about now? The current events are concerning to say the least.
On the financial side, you have a plan – you have an emergency fund, understand your cash flow needs, know your estate plan and insurance are up to snuff, and are invested in an asset allocation (balance between cash & bonds and stocks) that takes into account your ability to take risk. Your portfolio is broadly and globally diversified. You are prepared to weather this upheaval. You have controlled what you can control.
Yes, the market is crazy right now and there are many unknowns. Clients who were with us in 2008 and 2009 remember the pain well and they understand the importance of not taking undue risk. We encouraged them to stay the course, because uncertain times are baked into their plan and their asset allocation. And they did, and they are fine to this day.
So, for our newer clients who haven’t been through this before – we know it may be really hard but try your best to not worry over the things you can’t control. We’ve already controlled for the amount of risk you can take, so you are going to be okay.
On the health side, stay safe. Practice “social distancing” for the time being. There was a great article in the New York Times on what this is and why it is important. Stock up on medications and essentials to minimize the need to be in crowds. Of course, everyone knows to wash their hands frequently and self-quarantine if you are ill.
How is SAGEbroadview prepared? We all have the ability to work remotely and have long had technology in place to have online meetings.
We are here for you, and we consider each other, our employees, and our clients as a “family” – we’ll get through this together. We will look out for each other, help each other and meet this challenge.
Let us know what is on your mind and anything else we can do to help ease your worry.
With great appreciation,
Larry & Sheri
Your Y’old Team at SAGEbroadview
P.S. If you like short videos, here is an excellent series from Carl Richards called “A Guide to Scary Markets for Humans” (Note: There are eighteen 1:30 minute videos.)