The Boy Scout’s motto has served me well over the 30 plus years that I have been advising families on their most important financial decisions. It has forced me to be constantly on the lookout for changing and dangerous conditions in all of my activities. Planning a family’s financial future is very much the same as planning an outdoor adventure. I am vigilantly observing the changing conditions of the environment, the mental and physical behavior of my companions and the condition of my gear in the event that conditions deteriorate and I and my companions may be put to the test to weather out the storm.
I know that you know that I’m going to relate this to your family’s financial plans and preparations for coming changes in the financial world. I know that conditions are changing because the markets are at all-time highs and the talking heads on the television are beginning to run stories about how easy it is to get into the markets and asking why aren’t you all in? We are heading into an environment where conditions can change very quickly and you will need to be paying attention, sharpen your mental and behavioral responses and have the appropriate gear (financial plans) to ride out the storm.
We have gone 9 years since the last 20% decline in the S&P 500 index. Since 1956 the index has been down at least 20% on 13 occasions. That’s an average of about every 4.5 years. Many people have been lulled to sleep by the recent low volatility of a normally very volatile environment. Stay focused and sharp. Conditions are sure to change.
Make sure that you are prepared for whatever the changing conditions might bring your way. Do you have an emergency reserve of cash so that you don’t have to sell stocks into a bad market to cover a necessary expense? Do you have your portfolio structured so that you can ride out the bad conditions until they improve? Do you have the proper mental attitude to survive an adverse environmental change without making dangerous emotional decisions?
Perhaps an experienced, knowledgeable, caring guide could help you to prepare and to provide comfort through the storm? We have helped hundreds of families successfully overcome the challenges of the last 30 years. Let us know if we can assist you in these challenging times.