You don’t have to work on Wall Street to be aware of the recent volatility in the stock market. During times like this it can be helpful to remember the purpose behind your financial plan.
A comprehensive financial plan should prepare you for the certainty of uncertainty; putting you in a position to always have a smart place to get money when you need it and ensure that you are ready for the three main variables of life: 1) long life or premature death, 2) good health or sickness, 3) good markets and bad markets.
As humans, our emotions have a way of clouding our better judgment and the rational parts of our brains. Whether we’re faced with a bear market or a bear in the woods, our immediate reaction is typically to fight, flight or sometimes even freeze. Responding to things emotionally hijacks our decision-making and can easily lead to mistakes and/or regrets.
It is easy to become fixated on what is outside of our control and forget about the areas of life we can control.
Things you CAN’T control:
- Stock market performance
- Interest rate hikes
- Global conflicts/war
- Gas prices
- Unemployment rate
Things you CAN control:
- How much you are saving
- How much you are spending
- How much you have in an emergency fund
- How you react to market downturns
- Diversification of your investments
- Protection for premature death or disability (insurance)
- Work ethic/Discipline
In the face of highly emotional situations, especially those with financial implications, we’ve come to understand the importance of practicing what Doug Lennick refers to as the 4 R’s:
- RECOGNIZE all of the elements of your current situation and how you are interpreting your situation.
- REFLECT on the big picture and what matters most (your values and guiding principles).
- REFRAME what you are thinking and how you are describing the situation to yourself.
- RESPOND in a way that is consistent with your values, goals, and the big picture.
Behaviors and habits drive the decisions we make. Planning involves intentional thought about where we are now and where we want be in the future. It is about the steps we can take today to accomplish the goals we have for tomorrow. Making values-based decisions helps you gain confidence, clarity, and peace of mind; allowing you to think beyond our money.
If you’d like to begin planning for the certainty of uncertainty, please fill out this brief form and we will be in touch soon.