The new year is around the corner and the media has written “The Economy is booming and Americans revel in the prosperity after bouncing back from a recession. Advancements in technology are changing the way we live and there is hope of more progress. But anxiety lurks beneath the New Years’ optimism. Will these new technologies change the world beyond recognition? Has the environment been dangerously damaged? A global epidemic is raging, with no cure in sight”. Does this all sound familiar as we approach the 2015 New Year?
The headlines and events are from 1899 – more than 114 years ago! The epidemic is tuberculosis – not Ebola. The technology is the telegraph and automobile – not social media and genomics. The environmental damage was to the Western frontier – not climate change. We have always worried about the markets, economy, environment and illness and the world has always been a scary place. What we are facing today is not different than 115 years ago – the names have changed but the concerns remain the same. The biggest difference is the news cycle has been compressed from weeks to seconds and we are so focused on the short term that it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
In the end we believe it’s the unforeseen or considered risks that affect most of us – not those we hear about in the media. In other words it’s not the bus we see coming that hits’ us – it’s the one we don’t see. In this regard we believe that the things we need to plan for are:.
- Unreasonable expectations as to markets, volatility and withdrawals. If we draw too much from our funds they will be depleted over time. We believe markets will continue to move up over longer periods but there will be short term volatility.
- Higher medical expense for regular and catastrophic care. Having insurance both for medical and long term care is an important way to protect your assets and lifestyle
- Making shifts to your portfolio due to short term market and media events. Once allocated the portfolio should be re-balanced but this should not be done reacting to things that are happening but done on a proactive basis. This is why it is important to meet and discuss your needs, objectives, risk tolerance and tax situation with your advisor.
The world can be a scary place and the media will continue to focus on the negative and short term. We also believe that the next five to ten years could provide large gains for the broader markets and for those who participate.
We have historically high levels of corporate profits and cash while we have relatively low energy costs relative to the rest of the world. We have continued innovation that leads the world and one of the most productive work forces globally.
While the events will change – concern and a negative media bias have remained the same for the last 115 years. During that time those who have invested have typically profited while those who have focused on the wrong things have not. Please contact us with questions, concerns or whenever we can be of service.
This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation to buy or sell any investment. Any opinions are those of Randy Carver and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.