What are the markets going to do? How will the tax laws change? When are interest rates going up? All of these are questions I have been asked, and usually qualified by “I know you don’t have a crystal ball”. Yes, I have access to lots of information, which over the years I have learned to take with a grain of salt, but no I do not have a crystal ball. No one does. Not even newscasters, your favorite talk radio host, and especially not the internet.
I’ll share a true story. You may recall 1999 and the Y2K concern. I researched, discussed, and accessed information from various sources and came to the following conclusion: if there is a problem on January 1st, markets may fall by 10 to 20%, but after six months the markets will have recovered. If there is no problem, all is good going forward. One other input was a discussion a major airline had with a foreign country, that, when asked,” what are you doing about Y2K?”, the response was “is that a new plane you are coming out with?”. Similar conversations caused many to believe that foreign countries may have a Y2K problem.
I decided in May of 1999 to ask my clients to make a decision based on the above information. I asked what they wanted to do now if they felt they may be a little sick to their stomach if there was a problem and the markets were down. Of course, that takes all the fun out this, asking them to make the decision. Personally, I was staying invested and diversified as usual with no changes. I shared that information with each one. What happened? Some went to cash; some removed all international investments and some stayed invested. We all know what happened…nothing. Additionally, the international markets had a major rally the last half of 1999.
So, I say again, who has the crystal ball? No one knows what is going to happen in the markets. Perspective is key. Focusing on your long-term investment plan and long-term average returns, rather than the markets highest-high and latest-low, can help prevent emotions and cognitive biases from having an undue influence on your investments. We can only use the information we have and the knowledge that we have gained over the years to help you navigate the unpredictable market and help you make smart financial decisions. If you need help or have any questions feel free to call us at 817-717-3812, we are here to help you!
The information provided here is for general information and educational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. Each person’s situation will be different, please speak to a financial advisor about your individual situation before taking any actions.