The hardest part of it is controlling our emotions. Financial well-being is about having the freedom to make choices that allow us to enjoy life, having control over our finances, and having the ability to absorb financial shocks.
It is not about being rich. In fact, you can have financial well-being before you have accumulated lots of money. In times like we’ve seen in the last few months, where market volatility has increased, it can seem difficult to keep your emotions at bay and feel a sense of financial well-being. This is particularly true if you’re retired and are living off your savings.
If you have accumulated wealth, a small percentage change in the markets can seem like a big move when translated into dollars. For example, if you have a $1.5 million portfolio, a 2% change in the market is a $30,000 move. In 2017, we saw no 2% market moves, but on average, we can expect to see 5 or more a year, and plenty more 1% daily dips. So, when you are feeling your emotions taking over, remember the following:
- We have planned for this and have your cash needs for the next 4+ years in safe investments that will be available even if the stock market goes through a correction cycle.
- Our planning tests many of the financial “what if” scenarios to give you confidence that you can absorb a financial shock.
- We have planned for the things you enjoy most in life, as well as for market ups and downs. If we think an adjustment needs to be made in spending to protect your financial security, we are going to tell you.
We don’t have control over what the markets do on a day to day basis, but we do have control over how we react to them. The news media is just shouting scare tactics, the facts are what I have listed above. The truth is, equity markets average one 14% decline per year, and every five years or so equity markets decline by 30% or more.
On the flip side, investing in equities is the best way to keep pace with inflation and equity markets are up nearly 3 out of every 4 years. We rebalance your portfolio annually to ensure you are not taking on more risk than you can tolerate.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”
You can only experience true wealth with financial well-being. Remember, we have planned for all of this. Instead of watching the headlines, live your best life with peace of mind that these fluctuations are built into your plan. If there is anything that is concerning you that you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you.