If there was ever a time to focus our perspective down the road, this is it.
When I was 16 years-old, my father—who was teaching me to drive the family car—said, “You’re driving like a drunken sailor.” But no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the journey to smooth out. My father finally asked me where I was looking and I explained, “Right over the top of the car. I’m trying to stay between the lines.”
“You need to change your perspective,” he said, “And look further down the road.”
Once I did, the ride became much smoother.
I think about my dad’s advice in moments like the one we’re all experiencing right now. The outcome of the elections appears known, pandemic illnesses are on a steep rise, more than one vaccine has demonstrated efficacy and, meanwhile, the market looks like a drunken sailor on a day-to-day basis. If there was ever a time to focus our perspective down the road, this is it.
Two months from now we will have a president in office. Six months from now we’re likely to have a vaccine available for distribution. Is it going to be a difficult winter? It certainly looks like it will be. However, the market appears to have more upside than downside, especially when you focus on the longer term. Despite what some news networks are saying about a new administration shutting down the economy or increasing taxes—a topic we’ll explore in an upcoming issue of Insights—now is not the time for most people to be in cash and out of the market. For many, pulling out now would carry with it a heavy tax burden. Plus, I think most of us will want to be part of the vaccine economy.
All of that said, I understand wanting to do something. It took no small amount of faith and courage that day behind the wheel of the family car with my father to lift my sight out beyond the hood of the car. Once I did, I found I could navigate the big picture and make adjustments for the road just ahead. The metaphor applies to managing your portfolio. Look out beyond the current volatility and focus on your goals and objectives. And remember that we’re here to help. You don’t have to go it alone.
Kevin C. Swanson
This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. If professional advice is needed, the services of a professional advisor should be sought.