One of my clients that I am very fond of, was about to reallocate one of her investments from high cost mutual funds to low cost institutional investments, saving over $10,000 per year. She said to me, “I know this is the right thing to do, in fact, let’s do it”. Shortly thereafter, she learned that her daughter has Cancer for a second time and her daughter needed her.I told her that I couldn’t even imagine what she was going through and that if she needed anything that I am here for her. She shared with me that her daughter has had cancer before and that it caused her to be unable to focus on anything other than her daughter. I respect her and am happy that she is there with her family. However, after hanging up with her I thought about what a coming correction will do to her current account. The high priced mutual funds have more risk than the stock market and are aggressively allocated. According to back testing with Morningstar, if we have another 2008, she would lose over 41% of her assets.The question is how do you still make important financial decisions when you are overwhelmed with your life?The answer is to take time to care for yourself first. Only if she is able financially be there for her daughter, can she fully help her. A simple moment later (a day or a week) after the immediate trauma can save you a fortune in the future. One way of doing this is rephrasing the current trauma to allow yourself not to be incapacitated. Instead of feeling constantly ‘devastated’ or overwhelmed by circumstances, use less intrusive words to describe the same feelings. Words such as curios, cautious, or concerned are more appropriate to allow yourself to function. This type of life planning helps to define your core strength both during and after what life throws at you. If you need to make a good decision, but other stresses of life are interfering, see if you can find a moment for yourself and make a good decision. In 2008, when the market was crashing, people were so focused on the rest of their circumstances that they did not respond accordingly and reduced their amount at risk in the market. As a Financial Planner, I truly care that my clients make the decisions that are best for them and their future.
Until next time,