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Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts

June 30, 2022
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We often tell ourselves that we will do worthy things at some vague point in the future: lose weight, exercise more, save more of our income, plan for the future, take that trip we have always dreamed of, etc.

Part of the reason we put things off is the feeling that we can get to them whenever we like and that they will not be too difficult to accomplish. Therefore, it does not really matter when we begin.

If that is so, why not just begin now? Start slow, start small, but start today. You will proud and happy you did.

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With the price of gas double what it was just two years ago and the cost of almost everything else higher, we look to our elected officials for relief. Does it ever occur to anyone that looking to politicians for answers is largely what got us here in the first place? Or that whatever "answers" they come up with to alleviate the current crisis will almost certainly plant the seeds of the next?

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With recession talk abounding I am going to say something I have said before. Attempts at market timing are generally futile.

There is no law that says anyone must be invested in the stock market. Invest in whatever you feel good about and I wish you success. Truly.

However, if you are going to be investing, to some degree, for a decade or longer, stay the course. And if possible, buy the dips. There has been only one time in history that the market has dropped 20% (approximately) and not rebounded to make a new all-time high. That is, of course, this time. While it is possible the market will continue to go down and stay down forever, that has not been the case historically.

Of course, someone, somewhere sold all their investments on January 2nd and will get back in at or near whatever the bottom turns out to be. And I’m sure he or she will have their 15 minutes of fame. Many people will win the lottery. So what?

Playing Russian roulette and surviving does not prove the game is safe. If you keep playing you will die. When we repeatedly do goofy stuff, time becomes our enemy.

When people have stayed invested - to whatever extent they feel is right for them - and bought on dips, they have done well. Time was their ally. Since time marches on without end and no one has been able to stop it yet, it is a powerful ally indeed.

Buying low and selling high is a simple concept but takes discipline. Constructing a well-balanced portfolio based on value and sober risk assessment is the way to go, in my opinion. What it calls for is recognizing value and acquiring it over a long period of time.

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I think that social media has been the grandest of Faustian bargains. On the one hand, we can keep up with what our friends and families are doing more easily. On the other, we are being buffeted constantly with curated images from influencers that can leave us feeling like underachievers. This despite the fact that most Americans today, even those considered poor, live a life replete with luxuries that would make Rockefeller or Carnegie jealous.

Also, when I view photos posted by friends and family, I get the feeling I have shared something with them. But have I? The actor Keanu Reeves once said of social media "The things designed to bring us closer together are keeping us further apart."

I read once that "there is matter in manner." I will riff on that and say that presence is truly a present. And I know, that is a bit corny. Still, even though life is hectic, give those you love the gift of your presence.

There is some human magic in a hug, kiss, handshake, or glance that simply cannot be conveyed on a device.

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Marketing has won. We have arrived at a time and place where a great number of people believe they cannot possibly live their “best life” unless they are spending all or nearly all of their money.

If we systematically learn to save money, by way of serially under-living, we will not feel entrapped or deprived. Instead, we will be endowed with the feeling of being truly free. Working hard to create golden prisons for ourselves is one of the cruelest cuts in life.

Free yourself now. Build a powerful financial portfolio that gives you options to live your life and your dreams on your terms. Consider working with an investment professional whom you trust, to help you carry this out.

 

Scott R. McGimpsey June 30th , 2022

This blog post was written by Scott McGimpsey and does not necessarily represent the views of Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor Scott McGimpsey is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professionally services. If such assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal, state, or municipal tax penalty. Moreover, a diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or assure protection against loss in a declining market. UNIFIED PLANNING GROUP is an independent firm.