Over the last few weeks, the consternation concerning personal health, our families, the markets and our economy has been palpable. Like you, I am concerned as these are no doubt challenging times. Many clients have expressed how different this situation feels and I certainly cannot argue that. This is something like we have never seen in modern day history. This isn’t the tech slide of the early 2000’s, the financial crisis of 2008 and this doesn’t feel anything like Ebola or the swine flu.
It may be difficult to think about your finances or, perhaps, you are thinking about them even more. If you are nervous about the markets, we certainly understand. What I would ask you to do in a time like this is ask yourself three questions:
First, has my timeline changed and do I have enough time to recover? Historically, it takes about 2 years for markets to come back from a correction. All the while things like your dividends, interest, 401k/403b contributions are being invested at much lower costs.
The second question is…will we get through this? The answer to me is no doubt in my mind. It may be two weeks, two months or two years but it will happen. There are already vaccines in testing and my hope is we have a solution sooner than later. It may get worse before it gets better but we will persevere.
The final question I would ask you to consider is, if you could go back to 2008/2009 and buy up all the high-quality stocks out there, would you do it or, knowing what you know now, would you sell? Clients that are considering this correction an opportunity are poised to do well when the market inevitably returns.
You’ve trusted us to help you through times like this, and we are committed to doing just that. We are actively watching the news, the markets and your portfolios, and are meeting regularly as a team to review what actions we need to take, if any. We cannot guarantee that the volatility will slow at any point soon and as much as we too want the lows to stop and the highs to return, we know that this is part of the process and that this is something we’ve planned for.
If you are feeling concerned about the current markets or are wondering what actions you should take, if any, please give us a call. That’s what we’re here for. Further, if you have any family members or friends, client or not, that are feeling nervous or unsure in the current environment, we would be happy to speak with them. You’ve heard us say before that the actions taken prior to and during a correction can have the biggest impact on one’s likelihood of financial success. Having the advice of a trusted financial advisor can be incredibly impactful in a time like this.
It is human nature to play out worst-case scenario and for each of us, worst-case scenario is different. Reactions vary and I’ve heard everything from “I’m retiring and will never recover” to “I have extra cash—let’s buy.” I also have received notes wishing my staff and I well and for those, we thank you—they mean a lot.
I hope this message helps you to breathe a little easier. From all of us at Means, we sincerely thank you for your continued trust.