3 Lessons Learned from a Crazy Year!
As I was watching fireworks over the weekend, I got to thinking about how much we have already experienced so far in 2020. The list of events is truly incredibly to review, in part because many of these events would have been massive in any random year and I had almost forgot that some of these things had even happened (here is a complete list of the items that occurred through just April!):
- “Apocalyptic” Bushfires in Australia
- Kobe Bryant’s Passing
- Donald Trump Surviving Impeachment
- A Global Pandemic
- Every Major Sporting Event Being Canceled or Severely Postponed
- Multiple Events of Policing Oversteps and Subsequent Protests for Social Justice
- Working and Living In a Completely Isolated, Virtual World
Many people wish we could just cancel 2020 and move on to 2021. However, let’s look at what we have learned through this hectic year and use it to ensure that the best is yet to come for all of us!
#1 To Survive and Thrive During Chaos You Better Have a Plan (a good one!)
It may sound cheesy, but Mike Tyson said it best - "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth." What has occurred in the economy and stock market so far in 2020 could be likened to a punch in the mouth! If nothing else it's separated those with a plan from those without.
Periods of epic market volatility are when those with a plan survive and win. Having a plan allows you to have peace of mind while the world and market around you is crumbling. Additionally, you have clear action steps built on historical information and updated with modern day truths to inform your decisions. Here are some real life experiences of some of our clients:
- They were able to make annual IRA, Roth IRA, and Brokerage account contributions as previously planned. However, by not wavering due to market and economic concerns they were able to buy into the market at a much lower level than what they could have previously or even could have today.
- They had built up a cash buffer or Emergency Savings to provide financial peace of mind during a time of decreased income due to temporary lost jobs. This also enabled them to hold off on withdrawing funds from their investments due to decreased income!
- They were able to resist the emotional urge to sell as markets were falling. This in turn allowed our investment committee to execute our investment strategy as we had planned to do, enabling the majority of our clients to outperform versus their investment goal benchmark by handy amounts.
All these actions and many more occurred because each individual client had a plan in place. By sticking to their plan, each of these individuals have decreased the amount of time that is necessary for them to achieve their individual goals.
Now is the time to build & execute your plan, this simple lesson will pay off tenfold during the next time of uncertainty!
#2 Flexibility is Key
We all have had our daily routines incomparably altered by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this pandemic every person I have met with has had some form of special event be postponed or outright cancelled. In the midst of this, it has been incredibly rewarding to see individuals that we work with who were approaching retirement or are in retirement be able to maintain their quality of financial life or still follow through with retiring in the midst of a global pandemic!
The primary factor we have seen for this ability to sustain a relatively normal financial life was because each client has a financial plan and retirement income plan built for them that maximizes their flexibility for events just like this.
When you work your entire life looking forward to your goal of retirement, you do not want to be worried that short-term events will keep you from accomplishing that major milestone in the way you envision. Not only do you need a plan - but you need one with a built in margin of safety to protect your sources of income.
Being flexible - able to adapt to the changing environment - is a key to success during times of uncertainty.
#3 Learn Something New & Execute Every Day!
As the initial “Shelter In Place” orders began across the country I read an insightful article that detailed how Sir Isaac Newton made the most of his time “Sheltering in Place” during the Great Plague of London in 1665. Feel free to check it out here: Newton Working at Home.
In the spirit of Newton, our team endeavored to learn and grow during this time when our work lives were disrupted. Some of the items are very noticeable to our clients.
- Increased email and Social Media communication to keep you educated on current events.
- Improved electronic signature processes for paperwork, which saves time for everyone involved!
- A variety of meeting options - including phone and video - and easy online scheduling.
These are just a few areas where the Creekmur Wealth Team learned & executed in new ways. There are some other exciting items we are working on behind the scenes that we began working on because of this pandemic. Including an easier-to-navigate client portal, more options for retirement plan investment management, and a wider variety of informational resources for our clients.
These projects and others are in various stages of completion and will be rolled out during the coming months. Even as life returns to a new normal we look forward to continually growing and learning so that we can continue to provide an ever increasing quality of service to each and every individual we work with.
How can you challenge yourself to learn & execute on something new?
Creekmur Wealth Advisors may be reached at 866-358-4441 or Info@Creekmurwealth.com.