Transitions… By Miles McDannald, MBA, CRPS®
Our lives often are like the seasons of the year, a constant state of transition and change. Many transitions or changes are thought of as good. Others are thought of as bad. Deep analysis of our perception tells us that good/bad are often determined by whether or not we controlled the change. For example, you moved to the lake. This would be perceived as a good move, if you made the decision to move here because you like the water and wanted to live in a quiet, small community where your grandchildren will enjoy visiting. Conversely, this move could be perceived as a bad move, if it was the result of a slowdown in your industry and you couldn’t afford to live on your own, so you had to move in with family or friends to make ends meet. The same parameters often apply to financial investing, and our perception of whether the change is good or bad. The financial markets have a certain life about them that many have tried to tame, but none have succeeded in controlling. Our goal in investing is not to try to time the market, not to control the market, or even to try to understand all the stimuli that are affecting the markets at a given time. Our goals should be to assess our personal goals. Make a plan that gives us opportunity to manage those goals. Use all available information to invest our money appropriately without taking unnecessary risks. And finally, to review and adjust our investments when the data dictates action. Usually, data and verifiable news should be the reasons to make a change. Rumors and short term disruptive events are not indicators to be followed. Elections come and go. Weather events come and go. Fads, trends, and styles come and go. Bull markets come and go. Bear markets come and go. In a nutshell, most of the stimuli that affect market momentum, comes and goes. Most often, a well thought out and well executed, balanced investment plan will be the appropriate method of addressing your financial goals no matter what life throws your way.