Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.
On my morning walk recently, I captured a sunrise scene. Colorful clouds with interesting texture reflected perfectly in one of the Louisville lakes. I am strictly an amateur, but a good picture jumps in front of me once in a while.
Pondering later what goes into a successful photo, I came up with this list:
- Choose a pertinent subject.
- Frame the key elements, focusing on the important stuff.
- Keep it centered and level.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this same formula is what goes into writing a blog post or telling a story. And it’s what we strive for in our work with you.
There are a thousand things we could talk about or think about, but you and I work on your highest priorities—the most pertinent subjects. Our goal is to frame them so you can make effective decisions. By keeping it level, we can use a balanced approach.
Clients, if you would like to work on your story, email us or call.
You never know what’s going to send your heart soaring—but it’s nice to be open for moments like that.
Recently, a swell of gratitude snuck right up on us. We received a package from a popular online marketplace. It should’ve been a mundane activity to open the box. It was full of office supplies, after all.
We discovered, however, that we must have checked the option that this delivery was a “gift.” Inside the package was a slimmed-down receipt bearing the automatically-generated greeting.
“Enjoy your gift,” the note said. We were gobsmacked.
No, no, we’re not in love with our office supplies. (They get the job done, but it’s no love affair.) We realized that our supplies let us do our work. And our work? To be of service, to you.
“Enjoy your gift.” The note seemed to be cheering us on. “Share your talents, flourish, go!”
We firmly believe that we’re all better off when each of us is free to pursue our ambitions and put our skills to use.
How can we help you in your pursuits?
Clients, you know I’m aiming to work until I’m 92, and we’re filling the shop with other talented parties who can help this endeavor thrive. What a joy to witness this little shot of confidence from the universe. And we’re happy to share it with you now.
When you’d like to talk about this or anything else, please write or call.
We humans use stories about events great and small to help understand the world. One of the common stories about the stock market contributes to a great misunderstanding, however.
A market decline from some higher point in the past is often spoken of as a loss. Yet whenever the market is trading at an all-time high, every past downturn has been fully recovered. One might ask where the loss actually is.
To illustrate, the decade of the 1990’s was a good one for the broad stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Stock Index. It more than tripled, rising from 353 points to 1,469. Yet of the 2,527 trading days of the decade, 1,171 saw a decline—a drop—in the market index.1
Those down days represent a cumulative 729% in “losses.”1
In a decade when the market tripled, how does it make sense to speak of losses during the interim? Particularly losses equal to many times the beginning level?
The market is volatile. Values fluctuate. It goes up and down. But if you have long term goals, it might pay to focus on long term results, not temporary downturns. If you invest next week’s grocery money in the stock market, then yes, a temporary downturn will result in a loss when you sell out in order to buy food. Otherwise, we would say a drop is not a loss.
Note: one should never invest next week’s grocery money in the stock market.
Our business is striving for long term results for people who share our time horizon and philosophy of investing. We talk about it every way we know how, in many venues, to reinforce effective investing attitudes and to forewarn those who lack them.
Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.
1Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, S&P Dow Jones Indices. Retrieved September 18th, 2018.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
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.
Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
Thinker Morgan Housel wrote recently about the power of narrative in “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” The essay focused on the narratives that affect the whole economy, the big-picture themes. The future of the country didn’t change much from 2007 to 2009, but employment, wealth, and the markets all got slammed. What caused it? The central narrative, how we understood our economy, changed dramatically from the peak of the boom to the bottom of the bust.
Investment manias have a story at their core. They may come true or not, but while the story holds sway, real values are driven by the story. Housel summarized it this way: “this is not a story about something happening; something is happening because there’s a story.”
Stories are how we organize and understand the world and our place in it. “Stories create their own kind of truth,” as Housel wrote. We believe the same idea shapes the lives of individuals just as certainly as it shapes economic and societal trends.
At 228 Main, we have stories. About people who save diligently and achieve financial independence. About folks who invest with increasing confidence and less worry over the years. About investors who learn to live with volatility, and hold on through the downturns. (These are stories, not promises or guarantees—you long-time clients know your own realities.)
I would not be able to work with you as effectively without those stories—and more importantly, the narratives of my own life.
I have a story about a vibrant business in the face of steep personal challenges. I have a story about working to age 92. I have a story about new ways of doing business in the 21st century.
These stories have enabled me to thrive while dealing with major issues, live healthier than I have for decades, communicate more effectively with you than ever before, and make plans for the decades ahead while some of my contemporaries coast toward retirement.
It feels to me as if the stories I have crafted in turn have shaped my life. I am not done creating stories; life goes on and things change. We do not know the future. But if we take control of our stories, we may be able to influence our futures. No guarantees.
How about you? What’s your story? Are there aspects of your narrative that we could help you with? Clients, please email us or call if you would like a longer discussion.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.