A good friend of mine once said “The world has been coming to an end since the day after the world began.” I would add that, folks often talk about the fall of Rome, but Rome still stands. 200 years ago, London was the financial center of the world, today it is not. Yet, for all that, London is still London.
I am certain that as these changes were taking place, people in Rome and London believed, with all their heart, that the world was coming to an end.
It did not.
Who among us would have predicted even 20 years ago that Kodak would file for bankruptcy? In just the past decade we have lost well-known companies like Blockbuster Video, Payless Shoes, Borders Books and Toys R Us.
Yet, while we may miss those companies out of a sense of nostalgia, we have no lack for movies, shoes, books, or toys. Having four children, I can personally attest that we are positively loaded with toys!
But that is all in the past. Who will win the future?
Will Chinese electric vehicle (EV) company Nio dominate? Or will Tesla maintain its perceived stranglehold on the EV industry? Perhaps the old guard like GM, Ford, Toyota, and the rest will evolve, make up ground, and eventually dominate this newer market as well.
Could there be some new, not yet invented, technology that we will be speaking about ten or twenty years from now that will make these questions irrelevant? We cannot know for certain, only time will tell.
People often and incorrectly believe that the key to effective investing is knowing. In fact, the key to effective investing is to accept that we do not know.
That is not to say that there is never insight or evidence that might suggest trends one way or the other; simply that to make what amounts to all or nothing bets based on an unknown quantity like the future is not sensible.
We are well served to invest in a wide spectrum of assets and asset classes so that however things evolve, we can prosper. Or more accurately, we might give ourselves the highest likelihood of prospering.
We should not only accept, but frequently remind ourselves, that we do not know how the future will play out, no matter how strongly we may feel at any given moment.
It would also not hurt to remind ourselves that while change does not always mean progress, progress always means change. So many things have changed over the past few decades, but here we are. And life, with all its ups and downs, is still beautiful.
Effective financial planning is about keeping life beautiful and is rarely accomplished by viewing the world through a filter of fear. Let us strive instead to view the world through the lens of logic. And most importantly, base our decisions on that view.
I, like most of my clients, generally come to important decisions only after a process of gathering and evaluating information. Once I make a decision, I do not change my mind easily in favor of the latest fad.
We get to choose between the filter of fear and the lens of logic. Choose wisely. If you like, speak with a financial planner who has earned your confidence to help you better prepare for an uncertain future.
Scott R. McGimpsey November 19th , 2020
This material was prepared by Scott McGimpsey and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. 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. Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Summit and Cetera are affiliated and under separate ownership from any other named entity.