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Happy Thanksgiving! Black Friday and Crashes

Happy Thanksgiving! Black Friday and Crashes

November 23, 2022
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Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a time for gathering with loved ones and observing gratitude.  I imagine that the warmth of a holiday meal probably beckons . . .  

As you gather around the table, look around and give thanks for the family and friends surrounding you.  Give thanks, too, for those who may be far away and those who have passed into memory.

The people in our lives make us who we are, enrich our experiences and give our days meaning.  Taking time to share a special moment with them can be one of life’s greatest blessings.

This is also true for the people who choose to work with us.  Thank you for making us part of your team this past year and in the future.  I want to take this opportunity to say how much we appreciate you and wish you and yours a most blessed day on the fourth Thursday of November 2022.  More importantly, we wish for you to have a grateful heart every day of the year.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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After we’ve enjoyed our special meal on Thanksgiving day, then comes “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”.  I encourage you to be careful with the use of your credit cards.  Don’t spend more than what you can pay off right away.  Credit card interest rates are sky high and that item that you purchase on sale could end up costing you much more than full retail by the time you pay it off with interest.  You can’t argue the convenience of credit cards.  But don’t let them become an instrument for buying what you don’t really need with money that you can’t really afford. 

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What comes to mind when you hear the word “Crash” or “Crashes”:  cars, computers, phones, people, stock market? 

What comes to mind when you hear “Risk Tolerance”?  “Downside Protection”? 

Consider this:

When cars crash, downside protection comes from being properly insured.  You shift most of the risk from your shoulders to the deeper pockets of the insurance company.

When computers or phones crash, downside protection comes from having a proper back-up system in place and having access to good I.T. people to walk you through the steps of restoring – putting your data back where it belongs.

When people crash . . . when death occurs unexpectedly, or disability strikes, downside protection comes from having life insurance to protect your family who survive you, or disability and/or long-term care insurance to help take care of your financial needs and those of your family.  Do you have your estate planning documents in place and have you made funeral arrangements ahead of time to ease the burden of loss on your loved ones?

When the stock market crashes, downside protection comes from being invested in an appropriate asset allocation based on your tolerance for risk, your time horizon, and the intended purpose of your money.  Is the purpose to fill a near-term need or a long-term need?

If you have no back-up in place, are inadequately insured or have no insurance or estate documents in place and have not recently assessed your tolerance for risk when it comes to your money, that might lead one to believe you have a very high tolerance for risk, or, perhaps you are living in denial.  In most situations, one cannot protect against all loss, but failure to consider the consequences of any of these life events may lead to significant financial loss and emotional devastation.

As you contemplate Thanksgiving, give thanks if you’ve had no “crashes”.  Be grateful for the near misses, or for having successfully navigated what did come your way.  Also, please contemplate the importance of the people in your life and determine how you want to protect them if something should happen to you.  Contemplate how your life would be if you lost access to your technology and had to start from scratch to recreate everything.  Contemplate if someone crashed into your car and you were without transportation for an extended period.  Contemplate another Financial Crisis like what happened from October 15, 2007, to March 2, 2009.

I am not suggesting that we are headed for another “Financial Crisis,” but I am suggesting that, because volatility has certainly returned to the market, it may be time to look at your financial plan if you have one, to get one if you don’t, and to evaluate the risk in your investments to be sure the risk you are taking is still appropriate for where you are in your life.

I am grateful this year for not having to navigate the fall out of a car crash, a computer crash, a phone crash, or the death of people I love.  I am grateful for plans and people in place to help in each of those situations if they had happened.  My hope is that you will be prepared if life delivers a “crash”.  I am here to help.  Be proactive.  Let me help you put a plan in place before “it” strikes.

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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.  Donate your time to a worthy charity.  Change your routine.  Live a high-performance life!