Outlooks for 2019, Do They Matter?

Fortune’s app recently notified me their Investor Guide 2019 was available. Back when it first arrived by mail, I’d stop to treat it with the excitement I had in the ‘70’s for Sears Wish Books. Now… meh. Blame technology? Cynicism? There’s more.

Life doesn’t stop/restart on January 1st. Neither do economic cycles, market trends, or your financial situation. Yet I witness people interpret, preach and act on year-end investment performance and annual outlooks. By March selective memory occurs or a shiny new storyline has arrived to obsess on how to invest now.

And the award for calling the recession goes to…  The prize sought by talking heads seems focused on calling the recession. Cue the Breaking News scroll, there will be another recession. When? Good luck on that.

Case in point, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) responsible for recording U.S. business cycles didn’t discover the Great Recession until December 2008. A year late and a few months before it ended. The recession prior in March 2001, NBER called it November 26, just 4 days before its end.

“But if I know when the recession is, I’ll be in cash”, you sure? Yes, the two most recent recessions were painful owning U.S. stocks before recovery, but it’s not always the case. Consider the three recessions covering the 1980’s and 90’s, the S&P 500 Index was up double-digits the year prior, up 7-14% during the actual recession and double-digits again 1, 3 and 5 years following the recession. This re-emphasizes the importance of diversification and knowing your investing emotions.

Your personal outlook is what matters. This year will you: Grow your family? Care for a parent? Change jobs? Have forced retirement? Reduce debt? Start a business? Save More? Stay invested if 20% down in your portfolio?

Pundits aren’t going to help you, instead seek capable Certified Financial Planners for what’s important. Unlike diet or exercise programs promoting “new year, new you”, successful planning and investing begins when you realize it’s needed, not New Year’s Day with an annual outlook.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Glenn Brown is a Holliston resident and owner of PlanDynamic, LLC, www.PlanDynamic.com. Glenn is a Certified Financial Planner™, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and fee-only fiduciary helping families, business owners and Sandwichers evolve their financial independence.

This article appeared in the January 2019 editions of Holliston Local Town Pages and Ashland Local Town Pages.

Please call me at (508) 834-7733 or directly schedule a meeting to learn more about improving your outlook for financial independence in 2019.

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