If you are like me, the fatigue of social distancing and sheltering-at-home has come. Although we have had sweet times as a family during these times, I am ready for some (but not all) of the normal to come back. And speaking of normal, what is normal during times of uncertainty are predictions – predictions about the stock market, economy, politics, etc. I know you have seen them, and I have too. What are we to do with so many “expert” opinions? I have some thoughts.
Eventually, They Get It Right
Just this morning I saw this headline: “Expert who predicted the 2008 Great Recession has another prediction.” I bet he or she does! And I bet this person had many more unfilled predictions. Soon after I saw, “Americas #1 Futurist 2020 Prediction Will Stun You!”
My favorite quote about predictions is this: “If you are going to make predictions, you better make a lot of them!” Eventually, you will get it right. This has been my experience during my time as a financial advisor. You will ALWAYS have someone predicting the sky to fall and never return again. You will ALWAYS have someone predicting the next recession. You will ALWAYS have someone predicting now is the best time to buy gold!
Most likely, these forecasters will eventually get it right. When they do, they can then write a book on just how they knew this bad time was coming. And they can be interviewed on the major networks to share their expertise. When I see this, I often want to ask them: “So what about the 99 predictions you got wrong?” Hold them accountable when they are wrong. But that doesn’t sell advertising as well…
How to Respond
Blocking out the noise is difficult. The voices and headlines surround us. They beg for our attention. So what’s a person to do? Go back to the tried and true financial principles that have guided the wise through turbulent times: Remain calm. Have a plan. Remain diversified (i.e. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket). Focus on what you can control. Voice the things you can’t control.
This pandemic will certainly go down as a historic event. The loss of lives is tragic. The uncertainty can be paralyzing. But I’m also amazed and encouraged at the resilience of our people. In the midst of a presidential election year, we are seeing Americans come together for a cause greater than themselves. It’s refreshing.
In closing, we say “Thank you!” for those on the front lines serving others. We greatly appreciate your sacrifice and service! May we all look for ways to be of encouragement to others. And when we need encouragement, let’s reach out to those who love us. Hearing a voice or seeing a familiar face is good for our souls!
This too shall pass. We hope and pray for your safety and health during this time. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
*For financial planning clients of Rivertree Financial Planning: Please contact us as soon as possible if you have had any changes in circumstances, objectives, goals or risk tolerance.
Scott is the founder and a partner at Rivertree Financial Planning. Scott and his wife Helen currently reside in Jackson, MS with their three children Artur, Taylor, and Molly. They are members of Redeemer Church, PCA in Jackson.