To Look or Not to Look? That is the Question

Have you looked at your account statements over the past few months?

In this blog I discuss several reasons why a lot of folks have avoided taking a close look at their personal finances lately and what choices they have going forward.

Reasons not to look

• According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, your primary physiological needs for air, food, water, and sleep took precedence over everything else as you focused on staying healthy during the initial onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Your safety needs were also a key concern as you needed to know that your home, your “nest,” would be protected and secure. During the attacks on law and order in our land, you had questions about your personal security and protection.

• You wondered how the reaction to the health crisis would impact your employment.

• The steady drumbeat of negative news fostered extreme uncertainty as the U.S. stock market went into a 34% freefall from late February through March 23. Fear and anxiety kept being stirred up hour by hour as we learned more about how our economy was being placed into a coma for several months.

• You were instructed to stay in isolation, cut off from most all of your most personal relationships and from your faith community, which form the basis for your love needs.

(With your most basic physiological, safety, and belonging needs in jeopardy, your higher level needs for esteem and personal growth were temporarily tabled.)

It’s little wonder that you tended to make your most immediate financial transactions but avoid any major financial decisions in this environment. You stayed hunkered down and you kept your financial hands in your pockets.

Reasons to look

In the words of George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” now you can exclaim “I want to live again!”

As you emerge from your “cave” and resume exercise of your personal liberties, you can be intentional again about your personal finances. Why?

• Progress is being made in the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus.

• You likely feel a renewed sense of meaning and purpose as you get back to work and resume many of your relationships in person.

• The economy is starting to recover and the stock market has been rebounding – although it will likely take many months to fully regain a firm footing.

As your fixation on fear diminishes, you’re able to devote rational thought to your key financial decisions – your budget, taxes, retirement plan, and financial plan.

Our job as an advisory team is to do the research and monitoring of your investments so you can invest quality time in your faith, your family, and things that are fulfilling and fun.

It’s OK for you to look closely at your financial life again. We want to help as you do.

Please let me know your feedback in a quick email or phone call.

[Financial Planning and Investment Management Services offered through Dickinson Investment Advisors, Registered Investment Advisor. Statistics and market information provided by Litman Gregory Advisor Intelligence.]

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