20 August Financial Planning and Market Update 08/20/20
Things seem really bad. We hear it on the news and feel it in our bones. People are sick and dying, out of work, insecure. But “the market” has recovered from the initial shock and one hopes rallies on to new highs. Happy days are here again! But this market rally is crazy-making, right? What do we do with the tension between the “market” on the one hand, and these grim realities on the other?
MassMutual Wealth Management Director Daken Vanderburg’s Updates that we’ve been sharing have been answering one-half of this question: MARKETS HATE UNCERTAINTY; at the onset of the pandemic, we had uncertainty in spades – no one knew WHAT would happen; on cue, the markets plunged. But then the Fed got to work, and Congress did its bit to inject capital into the economy, and, most importantly, the Covid’s growth rate, after a few terrifying months, when according to Daken’s statistics the number of cases was doubling every four days, began to decline. Enough “certainty” arrived, and market losses have been wiped out in a historic rally.
The equity markets may still be the best way for investors to create wealth. We also know that the market doesn’t look at what is happening right in front of us as much as it looks ahead to the future, and at this point I believe it’s seeing a future of profitability and return to some kind of normal. A view of the road ahead is being restored for long-term investors – things will be alright! No one knows what will happen in the short-term, but the long-term appears to look good. Whew!
But while we can learn to THINK “long term”, and investing is a long-term activity, we actually LIVE in the short term, day to day, and there’s the rub. We are not happy. It doesn’t FEEL like a recovery of anything but the stock market (not that such a recovery has not been welcome). Analysts are now starting to talk about the “scarring” of the economy which is thought to have developed some underlying weaknesses because of the havoc wreaked by the disease and its economic fallout (the more typical sequence is the obverse, underlying weakness usually creates the problems).
We believe the markets will be okay, but are WE okay? It’s not only Michelle Obama talking about the “D” word – “depression” — when it comes to what we are feeling, along with fear, anger, the usual suspects. There is a measure of certainty in the market, but no certainty in our lives. Far from it! The elements at play are well-known – our health and wellness, economic hardship for some, our children and their schooling, our devastated local economies, career uncertainty and insecurity, our isolation, our fear of illness, the everyday proximity of death and dying, political craziness – but maybe most importantly our growing recognition that this is not going away — “like magic” – anytime soon. It’s here to stay, maybe for a very long time. That’s depressing!
Our job becomes not only making sure that we survive this thing, but that we survive it in good shape. That’s where planning comes in – financial, legal, social, housing, education, healthcare, career – planning that helps us visualize our way through this, and eventually emerge in a good place. Whether it involves income strategies that seek to create short-term, safe or guaranteed buckets of money (like cash) for income in the short-term – maybe one, two years or more; or bringing new realities and a new perspective to our estate planning documents; or providing for the welfare of survivors, or for our own long term care help given an enhanced sense of vulnerability these times have given us – planning not only helps us address these and many other concerns, the ACT of planning and making changes it suggests is life affirming, a quintessentially OPTIMISTIC practice. We highly recommend it, and we’re ready to help – it’s what we do.
I hope you enjoy Daken Vanderburg’s recent Update. Stay tuned for a special opportunity to attend a private Zoom meeting featuring Daken’s live presentation with time for questions and discussion. The date is September 10 – you’ll get an invitation soon.
With support from the MassMutual Trust Company, we are also launching a new newsletter, The Soloist, for “Solos” over 50 and facing a future without traditional means of personal and social support. Sign up for The Soloist now, or later from the “Soloist Newsletter” page.
And here is a link to an article about us in the Berkshire Eagle. It captures what we are all about — great for sharing with others you know who could benefit from our work. We depend on – and greatly appreciate — referrals from our clients, and hope these resources help you share the word.
Stay well, stay safe, stay in touch!
Allen Davis for the DFG Team
Allen J. Davis, CFP® ChFC
Financial Planner and Advisor
Davis Financial Group, LLC
10 Bay Road, Hadley, MA 01035
(413) 584-3098 x211 office
(413) 570-8311 direct line
(413) 584-0160 fax
Due to the escalating COVID-19 situation, we have suspended in-person meetings and visits to our office to protect our clients, employees and the greater community, and to do all we can to flatten the curve. That said, we remain fully staffed and capable to conduct all business remotely via phone, email, web conferencing and paperless technology and serve existing and prospective clients alike. So please don’t hesitate to call or email us if there’s anything we can do to help you.
We wish you good health and look forward to hearing from you soon.
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