After only 10 days of the restrictions placed upon us, I suspect most of us have accepted the situation we’re now in and are adapting to a ‘new normal’. The bulk of the world is in lockdown (official or unofficial) and now treating this public health threat seriously.

We’ve seen unprecedented government action and support which will benefit those most in need, and see us get through this unprecedented period. It is still easy to be critical, but lets be honest we are all making this up as we go along, in one way or another.

These times also remind us of how important our family and friends are, be it spending most of our days with them or keeping in touch with them virtually.

As the virus spreads, it’s clear we’re all equal. This virus does not discriminate between background, religion, race, vocation, political affiliation, or net worth.

This crisis has revealed that there are no real global borders. We’re all connected, and this virus doesn’t need a visa or aeroplane ticket!

We are a social species

Like many things in life, you don’t appreciate them, until they are taken away from you. Human beings are a social species – we thrive on social contact, interaction, doing different things with different people. Simple pleasures and activities are the order of today, tomorrow and probably for a few weeks/months ahead. Enjoy them, once again

That also reflects our attitudes to money – we often do not appreciate how comfortable or fortunate we are, until the means to do these things disappears. A temporary period of isolation/deprivation is a good process to remind us of how fortunate we are in life and society – money is nothing compared to health, family, friends and a strong support network.

Those are things, no amount of money can buy

 

 

Lean in

A friend recently reminded me of how learning to ski is not only tricky, it’s painful. After falling over a few times, your instructor shares with you the critical skill that’ll keep you from hurting yourself. You’re told that when you start to wobble, instead of pulling back (instinctively) you actually need to lean into the fall. Counter-intuitively this will keep you on your feet. Leaning towards the fall will stop it.

Now is a time we need to ‘lean in’, in so many aspects of our lives – do not what comes naturally, but the counter intuitive or instinctive action.

Staying at home, can make us more isolated and insular – so now is the time to make contact with that member of your family or friend, you are ‘normally’  too busy in to call. These are not normal times

A quote adapted from ‘That Scottish Play’:

I have walked so far into this river of blood that even if I stopped now, it would be as hard to go back as it would be to continue. 

William Shakespeare.

In these testing times our materialistic culture and way of life has been exposed for what it is, excessive and arguably parts of it totally unnecessary. It’s clear that we can survive with just the essentials: shelter, warmth, food/water, and medicine.

The luxuries have been a powerful story we’ve told/sold ourselves. Where we were once concerned with the best brands, we’re now focused on simple commodities such as pasta, coffee, and shampoo and loo roll!!

We’ve seen that financial commentators with the loudest doomsday narratives catch the media’s attention. If they claim to know the market is heading further down, I wonder how vocal they were before this crisis?

Failed investors continue to make investment decisions based on economic news. Successful investors continue to make investment decisions based on tried and tested principles and practices aligned to a long-term soundly thought through financial plan.

We still don’t know where the markets will be heading. If anyone claims they do, remember this is a lie and not an untruth.

We are still relentlessly committed to our own plans and supporting our clients in their financial plans and within those plans, the investment portfolio that’ll fund it.

I am pleased to say, all of our clients have shown ‘faith in the future’ by committing to staying invested, not changing a perfectly set up portfolio on the first sign of the storm and not getting knocked off-course by the mainstream media whose main job is to report negative news. Good news, it seems, does not sell newspapers or attract large viewing audiences – I wonder why??

Or have the editors, pundits and TV producers believed their own propaganda for so long, they have forgotten how to report news positively?

What next?

Have the darkest investment market clouds passed?

We don’t know, but it would appear that the global markets have ‘stabilised’ for the moment. Most of the impatient money seems to have left the market. We’ll refer again to one of the wisest investment quotes:

The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient. 

Warren Buffett

This market decline has broken many records but we can’t allow it to break any perfectly crafted long term financial plans.

Discretionary spending

Having completed lots of spending plans (budgets) with client families over the years, it’s always been a challenge to separate out essential spending from discretionary spending. In our minds, lots of spending is essential, but maybe these times will challenge those assumptions!

Discretionary spending is spending on the finer things and experiences in life. Eating out, holidays, theatres, and clothes to name a few.

This is an opportune time to re-assess your spending plans. My discretionary spending has hit the floor. I’m in a fortunate position in that I can redirect these temporary savings towards my monthly investment contributions. Remember, stock market discount sales are the exception and not the norm.

That’s where the ‘Lean in’ tactic could bring you huge long term benefits

Its good to talk…

As ever, please call any of the team to discuss your concerns, current situation or how to get a plan started – we are here and working flat out, as normal, but from a distance!!

Andy Dyson & the T&R Team

#WeRemember please watch this 2 minute video, it’s brilliant:

Stay safe and well!