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April 3, 2020

What Now?

Author: Kristopher W. Carroll, CFA®, CFP®

 

If we look back over the last 20 years, many of us are now experiencing our third “once in a lifetime” bear market. During these times we hear that each bear market is unique and we are setting new records for the worst week or month.  It’s almost funny that last week set a record for the best week for stocks since 1933.

 

I’m sure many of us are feeling cooped up and stressed. We’re not able to go about our daily lives and many of us can’t enjoy the things we normally do to relieve stress, such as going to the gym or playing bridge with our friends. Stress only intensifies our feelings of loneliness or anxiety about financial markets and makes it harder for us to think rationally.

 

I always suggest to retirees that they need to take care of themselves physically, emotionally and intellectually.

 

Physically what can you do?

  1. Keep your activity level up. I see more people than ever outside taking walks these days and think it’s very important to stay active.
  2. Get some sunshine! We have been blessed recently with beautiful spring weather, so please try to enjoy it. Increasing your vitamin D intake can help in so many ways.
  3. Find rest. Far too many of us struggle with sleeping soundly. Make sure that you are getting a good night’s rest.
  4. Eat right. I see this as a great opportunity to cook more and avoid overeating at those restaurants I like so much. Get creative with your cooking and experiment a bit as well.

 

Emotionally what can you do?

  1. Stay connected with friends and family. I love that my clients are using FaceTime and Zoom to see their loved ones. It isn’t the same, but try it anyway and then do more of it!
  2. Avoid negative people that simply drain your energy.
  3. Complete some home projects. That feeling of accomplishment goes a long way.
  4. Count your blessings and find ways to help others. More on that below…

 

Intellectually what can you do?

  1. Turn off the news and catch up on a good book. I for one am getting tired of watching the CNBC staff live from their living rooms.
  2. Or change the channel and find a new TV show or movie that inspires you.
  3. Play games or build puzzles. I recently discovered a number of puzzles in my closet that I never got around to putting together.
  4. Seek additional home projects that might challenge your mind.

 

Finally, remember that you are blessed. No matter how bad things get, I am always thankful for my many blessings. I am blessed to have been born in America and raised by two loving parents. I am blessed with two amazing children. I am blessed to have a job that I love. I am blessed to work with an amazing team of people and so many wonderful families.

 

If you count yourself as blessed, think of ways that you can help others during this uncertain time. Buy gift cards for the places you’ll want to visit when this is all over. Visit websites to support a local restaurant, bookstore or charity. Imagine how hard many of these small businesses are being hit right now. I certainly don’t want the shutdown to end and then find out that the only stores still operating are grocery stores and Walmart.

 

If you have an idea to share or something that is helping you physically, emotionally or intellectually cope, please respond to this email. We would love to hear how you are doing while we do our very best to take care of our clients, our company and our families.

 

Bottom Line: Stay safe, stay healthy and don’t stress! This too shall pass.

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