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Happy Independence Day! | How to Handle Market Declines | Behavior Gap and Your Financial Health

Happy Independence Day! | How to Handle Market Declines | Behavior Gap and Your Financial Health

June 30, 2022
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Dear Client Family and Friends:

According to Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, “Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.  Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag.  Parades often are in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.  Independence Day fireworks are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", "God Bless America", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "This Land Is Your Land", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and, regionally, "Yankee Doodle" in northeastern states and "Dixie" in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812.”

However you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July 2022, please, please, do it safely.  I hope you wear your “red, white and blue” proudly, and remember that the “freedom” we cherish in this country is certainly not free.  Many thanks to the brave men and women who serve and sacrifice to keep us “free”.  Happy Independence Day! 

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When I wrote you in May, I told you that I never cared much for Space Mountain at Disney.  That I always preferred Thunder Mountain.  The Whipsawing (like Space Mountain) we have experienced in the market of late is uncomfortable.  I get that.  We all know that we should never sell at the bottom or buy at the top, but that is exactly what fear will lead us to do, so I want to encourage you to not be discouraged, to stay calm, and not make decisions that you may come to regret later.

We are all asking a lot of questions.  How long is this going to last?  Can the market go down more from here?  What should we do?  Are we going to be ok?  Will there be a recession?  Are we in a bear market?  Will this inflation ever end?  What will be the impact of rising interest rates?

I still don’t know the answers to all those questions, but I am attaching a piece from American Funds about how to handle market declines.  Click here: “How to handle market declines”.  The article makes seven points and includes some easily understandable charts and graphs to illustrate each point:

  • Market downturns happen frequently but don’t last forever.
  • Missing just a few of the market’s best days can hurt investment returns. Please take a close look at the chart that shows you the difference in returns when invested an entire period, versus missing the best days in the market (10 days, 20 days, 30 days, and 40 days.)  The investor who misses the best days in the market are the ones who sell while low and buys back after the market has recovered.  The best days in the market usually come after the worst days in the market.
  • Emotional investing can be hazardous
  • Make a plan and stick to it. Especially for those contributing to your 401(k) plans, or any regular savings program, remember that when stock prices fall, you get more shares for the same amount of money which may lower your average cost per share.  It is like shopping when things are on sale.
  • Diversification matters. Asset classes go in and out of favor.
  • Fixed Income can help bring balance – high quality bonds have shown resilience when stock markets are unsettled.
  • The market tends to reward long-term investors.

I hope you will contemplate the perspective outlined in these seven points when you receive your second quarter statements and won’t fall prey to the hazards of emotional investing.  Fair warning: It has been a rough quarter and the June 30th statements will reflect it.

I’m also attaching a great article titled “The Behavior Gap and Your Financial Health - How might it affect you?”  It’s worth a read.

I realize it is a repeat from last month, but I would like to close this letter out with the summary of What we do NOT know, What we do know, and What you should do:

What we do NOT know:

  1. How long this will last or when the markets will recover 
  2.  When the next 30% gain or 30% decline will commence 

What we do know: 

  1.  The economy had been showing tremendous strength before this current panic.
  2.  No person, investment adviser or government can consistently predict the future
  3.  Most of humanity has a massive internal motivation to innovate, grow, work, and succeed.
  4.  Good times in this world come and go, but the spirit of the human soul continues.
  5.  The past never guarantees the future. 

What should you do? 

  1.  If you have been implementing the comprehensive financial planning principles we have historically, currently, and continually advocate, our advice is to do exactly what you were doing BEFORE this current panic showed up
  2.  If you need cash, let us know and we will help you figure out the best place to take it from.
  3.  If your long-term financial goals have not changed, we do not recommend changing your portfolio (from our perspective, the word “portfolio” includes the entirety of your financial resources: all accounts and products you own, regardless of where they are held).
  4.  If you have some additional cash, we should talk about deploying it along the way
  5. If you still find yourself home more than usual because of “social distancing”, shut off your electronic devices, spend time in real conversation with your family.  Cook as a family.  Make up some silly games and have family “Olympics.”  Do devotions as a family.  Make some memories.
  6. If you live alone, “partner” with someone else who lives alone with a commitment to check on each other frequently with a phone call or a text.  A phone call is better, because it does a heart good to hear the sound of another human besides the voice that comes from your TV set.
  7. Don’t hoard.
  8. Don’t spend hours fixated on the news.  Limit your time on the TV.   If you miss the evening news – trust me – they will be covering the same thing first thing the next morning. 
  9. Live with hope, faith, and gratitude.  Living with an attitude of gratitude will go a long way in keeping you healthy.
  10. Laugh.  A good belly laugh is great for reducing stress.
  11. Remember, this too shall pass.  We will get through this.  

If you have questions or concerns, PLEASE call me – 954-302-6321, or text me – 954-880-3410.  My assistant, Danielle, can be reached at 954-302-6324.  Our office is on a hybrid work schedule – in the office 2 days per week and remote 3 days per week.  As a result, we are doing limited face-to face (actually, “mask-to mask”) meetings in the office.  We can set up a zoom meeting so we can be “face-to-face” from wherever we are.  If we don’t pick up your call, please leave a message.  We promise to return your call as soon as possible.

As I have said many times before, there is never a bad time to evaluate your portfolioIf things have changed in your life, a change may be called for.  If your risk tolerance, time horizon, and overall goals remain the same, staying the course may be appropriate.  Bottom line, this is not a time for panic.

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As always, please remember, you only have 168 hours to live your life this and every week.  Spend your 168 hours doing the things that only you can do – the things that are really important to you. Spend more time with the people you love.  (And tell them you love them, too.)  Do activities to help improve your health and fitness and spiritual life.  Engage in activities that give joy to others (and see how much you benefit, too).  Laugh out loud.  Express your creativity.  Play a game.  Take a friend to lunch, even if it is via Zoom.  Donate your time to a worthy charity.  Change your routine.  Live a high-performance life! 

Thank you for your relationship and for your continued confidence and commitment. 

Sincerely,

Luana

Luana Mobley Corral, CFP®, CFS™, CLTC™, BFA™

LMC/ms

PS          If you or someone you know is contemplating divorce, a Second Saturday Divorce workshop is a good place to start.  My hope is that attendees will leave the workshop committed to working on their marriage instead of moving toward divorce, but if they make the “divorce” decision, they will be more informed about what to expect in the process.  We are still presenting free online workshops via Zoom.  The next few dates are Saturday July 9th and August 13th.  Each workshop is from 10 AM to Noon.  Please go to SecondSaturdayBroward.com for more information and to register.

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The Behavior Gap and Your Financial Health

How might it affect you?

 Provided by Luana Mobley Corral, CFP®, CFS, CLTC™, BFA™

 “It turns out my job was not to find great investments but to help create great investors,” writes Carl Richards, author of “The Behavior Gap.” From increasing our budget mindfulness to taking a steadier approach to investing, Richards has drawn attention to how our unexamined behaviors and emotions can be to our detriment when it comes to living a happy and financially sound life. In many cases, we make poor financial decisions when experiencing panic or anxiety due to personal or widespread events. 1

The Behavior Gap Explained. Coined by Richards, “the behavior gap” refers to the difference between a wise financial decision versus what we decide to do. Many people miss out on higher returns because of emotionally driven decisions, creating a behavior gap between their lower returns and what they could have earned.

Excitement When Stocks Are High. Whether in a bull market or witnessing the hype from a product release, many investors may feel tempted to increase their risks or attempt to gain from emerging investments when stocks are high. This can lead to investors constantly readjusting their portfolios as the market experiences upswings. 

Fear When Stocks Are Low. In response to market volatility, investors may feel the need to choose more secure investments and avoid uncertain or seemingly unsafe investments. When stocks are low, a typical response may be to sell and effectively miss out on potential long-term gains.

Short-Term Anxiety and Focus. As humans, viewing aspects of our lives through the lenses of current circumstances is normal. However, one emotional response to any event is letting the moment consume us. Many may find it difficult to think long-term and remember. However, making a rash decision can inhibit the long-term benefit of maintaining a balanced perspective without reactionary behavior.

The market can go up or down at any given point, or it can remain the same. One thing we can control is how we handle our financial strategy. Remembering the likelihood of recovery over time — and the market’s nearly inevitable up-and-down movement — can provide a more logical angle to calm the nerves.

If you’re experiencing financial anxiety in response to the markets, take a breath and remember the potential for long-term gains. Of course, you can and should always reach out to your financial professional for further clarification.

Luana Mobley Corral may be reached at 954-302-6321 or luana@lmcorral.com.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC and Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. and Associated Investor Services, Inc., Luana Mobley Corral, Representative.  Insurance products offered through Associated Financial Consultants, Inc.  Pre-divorce planning offered through Crossroads Consulting of South Florida, Inc.  Crossroads Consulting, Associated Financial Consultants & Investor Services, and Securities America are separate entities.

Citations

1. BehaviorGap.com, May 16, 2022