The World Got Better in 2018. Why Doesn’t It Feel Like It?
Our economic analysis, market commentary and key takeaway for the previous quarter.
As I recently watched my son deftly navigate the game Minecraft, it made me realize that the game wasn’t all that different from the process of financial planning and investing. In fact, the way that our kids play Minecraft could go a long way in helping us think about the right approach to financial planning.
If you don’t know what you’re investing for, what you’re investing in can be much less effective.
Back in May, there was an “end of an era” moment in the world of late night television, as David Letterman of the Late Show hosted his final episode.
So the Fed decided not to raise interest rates from zero. The Fed’s chairwoman, Janet Yellen, cited inflation that was too low (the Fed’s target is 2%) as a primary factor in the decision along with the potential impact of recent financial market volatility on the economy.
Of all the pop culture trends that seem to come as fast as they go, the one I really hope sticks around for a little while longer is the “Dadbod”. For those of you who are unfamiliar, and can’t just guess what the term means by looking at it, a “Dadbod” has been best described as a “a nice balance between and beer gut and working out” and says “I go to the gym occasionally but also enjoy drinking a few beers and eating what I want on the weekend”. Supposedly the “Dadbod”, of which I claim to be a long-time curator of (and well before I was ever a dad), is now in style as evidenced by the viral takeoff of the #dadbod on social media. Yes, yes, I know…the concept of “Dadbod” has no doubt been welcomed and embraced by men all over - primarily as a great justification for some of our less disciplined tendencies. But it does highlight a concept that’s incredibly important that I believe we can apply to our financial lives for the better…the notion of “balance”. Balance is typically a key driver to a successful financial planning process, a properly constructed investment portfolio, and a successful retirement income distribution strategy.
So there’s been a bear roaming around our neighborhood lately. It’s been messing around with the neighbors’ bird feeders and instigating havoc at Peter Pratt’s, a favorite local restaurant, by demolishing its locally grown honey setup. Although nobody saw it for weeks, one of the restaurant’s workers finally spotted the bear hugging a tree as it was stalking the delicious honey. How stereotypical. Very prudently, the neighborhood association sent out some emails with informative links about what to do if you should ever encounter a bear. The first two lines of the bear encounter guidelines read as follows:
•If a bear approaches you, remain calm.
•ABSOLUTELY DO NOT RUN (Running may elicit a chase response in the bear).