It’s the End of the World as we know it – and I feel fine – R.E.M
This wacky song from 1987 made no sense. “Birthday party cheesecake jelly bean boom!,” etc. The singer’s cadence was fast, nonsensical and made you wonder how he pulled it off. Today’s stock, bond, gold, real estate, currency and oil markets all heed to first part of the title – right now it feels like the end. The postscript about feeling fine, well, not so much.
If you are feeling afraid, frustrated, confused or angry about the current events, remind yourself that these are all expected responses in a time of change or crisis. Seeing account values decline and then hearing about a new bout of virus outbreaks is frightening. These are monies that you’ve saved over the years and it can make those efforts feel wasted or perhaps, squandered in some way. A kind friend once told me that I needed to learn to “hold myself lightly.” In other words, my internal conversation was self-defeating and frankly, making matters worse. We all need to hold ourselves lightly and with kindness right now. These circumstances were outside of our control, but our attitude and courage moving forward will be within the realm of our choosing.
We have to increasingly parse and understand the information we receive and our “default to truth.” Not everything we are hearing is true – much remains unknown. When someone tells us that they expect the market to go down another 30% and the next one tells us he thinks it’s the buying opportunity of a lifetime I scratch my gray head and ask – “what the heck am I supposed to do with that information?” We don’t know what will happen Monday, but I will make one forecast amid this storm – it will not last forever. The market will not wait until things are better to recover. We need to stay invested, stick with our plans and remind ourselves that we will always have a smart place to get money if we need it.
Please take good care, stay home, support local carryout and delivery, and try something creative this week. I’ll be recording a webinar later this week about staying healthy and well during stressful times with a special guest. Watch your inbox.
Tonight I’m hosting a Zoom call with my whole family. Everyone is presently scattered throughout Iowa and the Midwest. It will be a great way for my parents to see their grandkids and everybody to share, vent and maybe cry a bit. I’m going to encourage everyone to find a way they can help – donate blood, deliver meals to the elderly or help on campus in some way.
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