“Investing in what is comfortable is rarely profitable.”
– Robert Arnott
In financial planning, much of the value that we bring to client relationships is derived from providing leadership and direction. Many clients have been very concerned of late about current political and economic events. Let’s examine these fears in context and why we believe in the markets. This is a reasonable faith, indeed much more reasonable than relying on incessant forecasts and predictions that are usually proven wrong.
The greatest risk most clients face is outliving their money. Perhaps second is losing significant purchasing power over time. Almost everything you buy costs more each year. Being a successful investor is simultaneously very easy and very hard. The easy part is comprehending that market advances are permanent and declines temporary. The hard part is mustering the discipline to practice that belief. Having faith in the long-term outcome is a big part of that.
- About 50 years ago we experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis where we came very close to atomic war.
- One year later a U.S. President was assassinated.
- About 40 years ago we lived through the Watergate Scandal.
- About 30 years ago we had American hostages in Iran and Oil Shock.
- About 12 years ago we had the Internet stock bubble.
- Last year the S&P 500 Index posted a 15%+ return including dividends.
Yes, we have the “Fiscal Cliff”, budget deficits and persistently high unemployment. Doesn’t it look like we have managed, somehow, someway to solve all of these problems? Is now really any different?
Accomplishing what you want financially requires discipline and even courage. The former is needed to stay on the proper path but the latter is needed to actually propel you along the way.
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