health and wealth

The Sun Will Come Out

photo shows a rainbow-colored sunrise over a mountain

March 13, 2020: The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is declared a national emergency in the U.S.

In the weeks that followed, schools and businesses closed across the country as one state after another issued stay-at-home policies to curb the spread of the virus. It has been rough since then, full of ups and downs.

It’s not the end of the road yet, but an end is closer all the time, nearly in view.

Many of the routine activities we once took for granted will come back: shopping, movies, sports, travel. Some of the changes we have gone through may stick around: perhaps people will be more inclined to get takeout than sit in a restaurant, and maybe folks will consider the occasional mask during flu season. But people will likely have fresh goals and new energy.

With this, we can expect a flurry of economic activity as people go out and do all the things they have been holding off on. After the shutdown started, many households responded by saving money and paying down lines of credit. There is plenty of pent-up demand waiting to be fulfilled.

We have written before about the Roaring Twenties that followed on the heels of the deadly 1918 influenza pandemic: if things line up, we may be poised for this century’s own version.

There are no guarantees. It is possible that the market has already priced in a robust recovery following the pandemic, leaving less potential for further gains.

Still, we have reason to be optimistic. Markets aside, we all have a lot to look forward to in our personal lives. Time with friends and relatives, at favorite restaurants and vacation spots. Many of us have suffered, and not everything we lost will come back.

But as the old song goes, the sun will come out—tomorrow.

If you would like to talk about your and planning, please call or email us.

The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

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In Which the Old Hound Dog Teaches Us About Retirement

photo shows old hound dog sitting in front of a limestone wall

Decades ago, when Louisville, Nebraska, even more closely resembled Mayberry, the old-fashioned service station was run by a gentle soul. His old hound dog was a regular fixture there.

One day a customer pulled in to the station, eager to get to the gas pump. They were delayed by the dog, ambling across the drive, pausing to look at the impatient driver… before continuing slowly on his way.

When the customer finally got to the pump, they jumped out to yell at the proprietor. “That is the laziest dog in all of creation!”

The proprietor offered a different explanation: “He ain’t lazy, he’s just got nothing to do.” Neither person convinced the other, of course.

I was reminded of this story in talking to recent retirees. Most have full days and weeks. This one travels extensively and gardens in between trips; that one helps with younger generations; another is busy improving the country acreage that is home. One says going to the gym is the new job. Some work part-time at hobby jobs.

But a small fraction of people are at loose ends—out of sorts—often after retiring from long careers. Like the hound dog, they get the sense they’ve got nothing to do.

Perhaps those who retired to something more specific do better with this than those whose focus is on getting away from that job or career. Those who are getting away are focused on the past, while those who are retiring to do other things are ready for the future. (No judgment from us: sometimes we must make changes for the sake of our mental or emotional health and can sort out the future later.)

The lesson, if there is one, is to think about the best way to invest our hours and days when we anticipate gaining more control over them. When we are intentional about what we are doing, boredom has less of an opportunity to take root, and there’s more space for whatever is about to begin.

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In Which the Old Hound Dog Teaches Us about Retirement Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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Feeling the Burn and Staying Fresh: One Sneaky Benefit of Stress

photo shows a pair of hands tying shoelaces on a tennis shoe

My reading habits, always eclectic, have gotten a lot of exercise during the pandemic. I just read about an interesting health phenomenon, one that illuminates the things we like to talk about here. 

“Autophagy” is the body’s way of recycling older or damaged cells and doing cleanup and maintenance. It seems to promote regeneration of new, healthy cells. The stresses of physical exertion and fasting are known to trigger increased autophagy, a sort of survival mechanism. 

What could this possibly have to do with investing? 

We recently chose to take advantage of a volatile day in the stock market to clear out a few holdings. It was cleanup and maintenance. Those sales freed up money with which to invest in newer ideas and opportunities.  

Just as stresses trigger autophagy in the body, market volatility and economic change tend to trigger cleanup and maintenance in our portfolios. 

Autophagy is believed by some to be a sort of an anti-aging process, keeping the body younger. Likewise, with our portfolio management, we strive to keep our holdings fresher, more in tune with the times. “In shape.” (No guarantees, of course. Autophagy does not guarantee perpetual youth, and our work does not guarantee returns.) 

When you are ready to talk about the health of your portfolio, call or email us. Let’s talk.

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