Greetings! I hope and trust that this finds you well and enjoying life.
I’ve found that as a financial planner I wear a lot of different hats. So I’m going to take the timely opportunity to ask you how you are coming along with your new years’ resolutions. I want to encourage you to pick one of them to focus on and to have it behind you and where it needs to be by the end of January. Just figuring out one important one was a huge thing; now just get on with the next phase of getting it behind you.
Last year was surprisingly for a lot of us a big year historically in the stock market, so I thought a little perspective would also be a good way to start this year. The S&P including dividends have gone up for fourteen months in a row. This is the longest consecutive run since 1928 according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Furthermore, recent movements of stocks have been smoother and more consistent than in most periods. Therefore, it’s important to consider that a correction of 10% or even 5% would likely be much more surprising and upsetting than a similar decline in more uncertain times, like where we were twelve to fifteen months ago surrounding the presidential election. Research suggests, that the pain of a market decline depends not only on its size but also on its steepness relative to what investors have become used to. So I want you to ask yourself what you have become used to. And then brace yourself because it won’t go on forever, as the market is definitely simply at a certain point in its cycle. Where we are now after the recent run-up, even slight corrections are likely to set off talk in the media that the sky is falling. Are you ready for that?
Now more than ever it’s important to stick to your financial plan, to remember your long-term goals and to keep short-term fluctuations in the market from rattling you. As we enter a new year if you have questions or concerns about your retirement plan don’t hesitate to call. I welcome the opportunity to speak with you.
I hope this will be your best year yet!
Jeff Christian CFP, CRPC