I had the pleasure of attending a Zoom meeting offered by the WNY Planned Giving Consortium: “Post Election Investment Outlook” presented by Tony Roth of Wilmington Trust. Mr. Roth shared thoughtful and well-researched insights. One of them included a bullet point to the effect of, “A divided government will help markets increase.” Ever curious, I payed very close attention to the slides that followed that bullet point.
I have never discussed politics so much in my entire life as I have in the last few years. Even though I aim to be apolitical, I feel bombarded by messages that have a political angle.
It seems that many people – including many of my clients – use political machinations (such as elections and bills yet-to-be-passed as laws) to help them frame their financial decisions. I don’t prognosticate on what the government may or may not do. Rather, I will help the client gain insight and perspective and discuss strategies the client may utilize should the proposed actions become reality, but I don’t expend energy planning for something that may never happen.
Side note/lesson learned: Never assume you know someone’s politics. I have been surprised several times.
The analysts’ propose that, with political division, things tend to remain the same. When there is division, little – if anything – will change.
And here is the kernel of this concept: The financial markets (the population’s opinion about current economic conditions) like that lack of change because it’s stable; it’s the devil we know.
Of course our own internal divisions (about the “right” thing to do with money) keeps us (as I say) “wandering and squandering” and not making the necessary or even desired changes.
How often do we let “the devil we know” be our default because we simply cannot determine the “best” or “right” financial decision?
Many people I know lament their tendency towards procrastination, particularly when it comes to financial actions (i.e. drafting a Will, applying for life insurance, performing that Roth conversion you’ve been advised to do etc.). But maybe procrastination is one way we can temporarily manage our inability to make a financial decision or take action; it’s like a rain check to come back to the decision when the path is clear.
If you suffer from financial procrastination, please know you are not alone. People who have worked with me and those who have attended the “I HATE Budgeting (But I Like Having Money)” support group meetings know how much importance I place on identifying and living (through your decisions, including financial ones) your core values as well as your needs.
These values may include, for example, freedom, learning, family, faith, achievement, truth, peace, growth, connection etc.
Needs may include, for example, security, simplicity, harmony, effectiveness, order, time alone etc.
When your values and needs are identified, you will be much more clear on where you’re going and why, resulting in more focus and momentum and much less conflict, stress and, their cousin, procrastination.
Consider this strategy: (1) Agree to check back with yourself at a specific point in time after (2) doing more research and/or having a consultation with me (and/or a professional therapist).
Peace & abundance,