Were you suffering from pre-election panic and tempted to make some emotional decisions with your portfolio? It was a common occurrence in early November, and the post-election panic has now set in to make matters even more emotionally charged. I get calls all the time from nervous investors who think the change in leadership will negatively impact their portfolios. If you’re worried that a new president is cause for alarm and you’re scrambling to make changes to your investments, here’s what you need to know.
This is Just the Latest Apocalypse Du Jour
It can be pretty easy to feel like the world is ending when you think too much about what’s going in the world right now. However, I truly believe that the election and transfer of power is just the latest apocalypse du jour. Pretty soon, we’ll be back to the COVID issue, and when that’s over, another crisis will conveniently take its place. The point is, the world is never in a state of peace and serenity. There will always be some type of calamity and the worst thing you can do is alter your plans to try to “keep up” with whatever you anticipate are the right reactionary efforts.
Avoid the Media
Staying calm in turbulent times is not easy—especially if you get sucked in by the media. Have you ever noticed that the media is always reporting on the worst news they can find? No matter what’s going in the world, the headlines are always frightening. That’s because they understand human psychology and they know that scare tactics lead to more viewers and better ratings. While that’s great for them, it’s not so great for you, the investor. So do yourself a favor and switch off the TV, shut down your Internet browser, and read a great book or have a relaxing dinner with your family. You’ll feel better about the world, I promise!
Stay the Course
2020 has changed everything, but it shouldn’t change your investing plans if you have a solid strategy. Staying the course can be difficult, but it’s a lot easier when you know you’ve developed a plan that is meant to succeed long-term. This helps you have perspective when you hear about the latest short-lived issues, knowing that you’re playing the long game.
Work with a Fiduciary
Unfortunately, some financial advisors who work on commission will put their own interests before yours and encourage you to buy into the latest crisis so they can sell you products that inflate their bottom line. That’s why it’s important to work with a fiduciary who abides by a duty to put your best interests before their own. A fee-only fiduciary doesn’t make commissions, so there are no conflicts of interest in your relationships. He or she will only recommend what is best for your situation, and in most cases, that means sticking to a plan rather than making changes based on what’s going on in the world.
Are you worried about the change in leadership or any of the other apocalypse du jours? It may be time to look at working with a fiduciary who can help calm your fears and stay on the right financial path. Want to chat more? Please reach out.