Last week’s blog, looked at the Stock Market’s Final Four. It discussed the four factors LPL Financial’s research team felt are “battling” for the continued growth of our economy. This week concluded the NCAA’s March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament ending with a thrilling 79-62 victory by the Villanova Wildcats over the Michigan Wolverines. But if you are like me, your favorite part of the whole tournament is actually after the winner is crowned.
At the end of Monday’s game after the crowd went wild and confetti fell from the rafters, only a few minutes later, a compilation of the entire tournament’s best highlights played to the soundtrack “One Shining Moment.” Click here to check it out.
Those that know me well know that I tend to be a “cup-half-full” kind of guy. Everywhere I look, I see lots of “shining moments:” reasons to be optimistic about our future. I’m a firm believer that optimism in the world of finance is the only realism. Largely, that is due to history’s long march of financial progress.
2017 might just have been our One Shining Moment.
In fact, 2017 was a perfect moment to take a snapshot all of the positive advances we experienced. In the long history of humanity, 2017 might have been our most shining year yet.
During 2017, every single day…
- 217,000 people moved out of extreme poverty (income of less than $2 per day).
- 300,000 people gained access to clean drinking water.
- 325,000 people gained access to electricity. (source: ourworldindata.org)
As early as 1960, the majority of humans had always been illiterate and lived in extreme poverty. Now fewer than 15% of the world is illiterate, and only 10% of the world lives in extreme poverty. In another 15 years, both illiteracy and extreme poverty may be completely gone in the world. How positive is that??
“After thousands of generations, they (illiteracy and poverty) are pretty much disappearing from the face of the earth under our watch.” ~ Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
But what does this have to do with your portfolio? I say it has everything to do with it.
Often, we are focused on current headlines of “Boom and Bust”…of Amazon and Facebook…of Trump and [insert crisis du jour}. At SRQ Wealth, we believe that proper financial planning will prepare you for the income needs of today, tomorrow and the years to come. We also believe your investments should be positioned to help grow your income, so you can never outlive it. On that note, if you are retired and still worried about your income in the short-term, then you do not have a financial plan, nor a financial planner. You may just have a basket of investments that may or may not be appropriate for your needs.
Not only have these advances been good for humanity, they have been good for the economy. Since 1960, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 3400% (679 to 24,100), and dividends have grown 23 times ($1.98 to $49.20/share) (source: joshuakennon.com). With such overwhelming evidence of constant victories in science, technology and industry, why do we fear the inevitable (albeit temporary) equity corrections to come?
This is where our emotions detract us from our logic. Fear is a powerful emotion (just show my wife a tree frog!). This is the moment where a true Certified Financial Planner® practitioner shines. At SRQ Wealth, our focus is on educating clients so they don’t fear corrections, but learn to accept and (sometimes) even welcome them. Consider this: if we know that corrections happen virtually every year and bear markets happen twice a decade, why are we so upset/surprised when they occur? Could it be a lack of preparation? Or a lack of communication from your financial advisor?
Next week, we’ll discuss Investing At The Top; with markets hovering within reach of their all-time highs, it is imperative that investors understand how their investments serve their financial plans. Knowing how to invest in times like these could mean all the difference between financial success and failure.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.