photo shows sunny, snowy woods

Winter here is a demanding season—and not everyone appreciates the discipline.  

— Parker Palmer 

We talk plenty about seasons and cycles here at There are useful lessons even in the most frigid of winters, literal or figurative. 

As I write this, our part of the world in southeast Nebraska is experiencing negative temperatures. The roadsides are lined with mountains of snow that have risen across the last few weeks. 

It’s hard to find the deeper meaning when even your boogers feel frozen. 

Teacher and author Parker Palmer writes about the seasons in this part of the country, like the stillness and clarity many Midwesterners can find in a snowy field. And, he explains, “Despite all appearances, of course, nature is not dead in winter—it has gone underground to renew itself and prepare for spring.” 

We spend our money differently in this season, but these needs will make way for a new focus in a few months. We keep our eyes open for the turn as challenges in certain industries give way to new opportunities.  

And as the circumstances may make it difficult to spend our time and resources exactly as we’d like to, we’ve still got one final gift of winter. It’s “the reminder that times of dormancy and deep rest are essential to all living things.” 

Clients, if you want to talk about your winter or the coming spring, please write or call. 

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To Everything There is a Season

© Can Stock Photo / jordache

After a long and snowy winter, spring has finally arrived in Nebraska, and it is wasting no time. The weather may be nicer, but the sudden thaw and ensuing floods have turned much of our state into a disaster zone.

While tragic, this was a long time coming. Most folks saw how much snow had accumulated through March and knew that it would be trouble when the weather warmed up. We all know how the cycle of the seasons work, and it should be no surprise that winter is followed by spring.

The markets, like the seasons, are cyclical. After a certain point, a bull market turns into a bear market, and vice versa. Summer turns into winter; winter turns into spring. But investor behavior can sometimes overlook this important fact.

Imagine if someone looked around at how cold and snowy it was at the beginning of the month and said “There’s even more snow than there was last month! At this rate there will be two feet of snow on the ground by May!” Obviously, they would sound quite foolish.

But is this really any different than investors who, late in a market rally, say “The market is higher than ever! At this rate it will be even higher in a few months!”

We know how market cycles work. Like the weather, we are not able to predict exactly when the turning point will come. But we know that it will happen eventually, and as contrarians the stronger the trend is the harder we expect the turning point will be.

Sometimes we temporarily look foolish—a bubble may persist for years after we expect it to burst. The fellow predicting snow in May probably would have felt vindicated by how much snow got dumped on us the first half of March, after all. We would rather miss out in the short term than miss a key turn in the markets altogether, though.

To everything there is a season: a time to buy, a time to sell. Clients, if you want to talk about the markets (or the weather), please email us or call.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

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.