Fears of election cycles and market volatility are nothing new but have seen a resurgence this year as social tensions as well as the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus loom in the background.
Nearly every election, people concern themselves over market trends and future projections, but those fears won’t further your financial vision.
The presidential outcome may incite different personal reactions, but it’s important to remember that you are in control of your money and your plan. In times of uncertainty and change, it’s best to lean on your goals, values, and plan to get you where you want to be. Today, we are going to look at four best practices for managing your money post-election.
1. Take the fear out of the equation
Most people fear change, especially change that will alter their balance sheet. But before you pull all of your money out of the markets or make any other drastic change, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will that decision further your financial plan?
- How is that choice aligned with your goals and values?
- In what ways will your short-term and long-term goals be impacted by this choice?
Think critically about the financial choices you make, especially if they will cost you in taxes and future returns. You know what’s best for your finances, and when you slow down and analyze your options, you’ll likely find that staying the course will yield the best results.
The stock market is volatile. In theory, you know that, but as 2020 has illustrated, it’s quite different in practice. The markets will always fluctuate, but you don’t have to.
Making a choice out of fear relinquishes your control over the situation. If you let fear be your motivator, you aren’t moving in the direction you want to go. Decisions derived from negative emotions aren’t likely to produce positive results. Your financial choices should be made with your goals and values in mind, and fear shouldn’t have a dominant role in that equation.
2. Lean on your comprehensive financial plan
When things get difficult, we search for solutions that are solid and will bring strength. In this case, it could be your financial plan. Take a look at the financial plan you and your advisor created and see if anything should realistically shift due to the outcome of the election. You might find that minimal if any, changes need to be made.
Why? Because your goals remain at the center of your plan. Did the election alter your long-term goals? Did it change the way you want to live in retirement? Has it shifted your vision for retiring early?
Most likely, the answer to these and more questions is no. The election can’t change your goals, you can. You are in control of your financial future, so don’t be afraid to take back that control.
3. Let your goals and values guide you.
Your goals and values are like the sun—the rest of your financial plan orbits around them. When you center yourself on what matters most, you’ll find that they can be your guidepost through any time of change or strife. Ask yourself,
- What brings you joy and fulfillment?
- How are your values infused into your financial habits?
- In what ways are your goals and values baked into your financial plan?
Sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond the current moment, but that’s what financial planning does best. It cuts through the noise and helps you align your money with the things that matter most in your life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and remind yourself of the goals and values you hold dear. They can rekindle your trust in your plan and vision for the future.
4. Call your trusted financial advisor.
If you’d like to talk through your plan or ask questions about anything that needs to be altered, give us a call or schedule a meeting. That’s what we are here for. We seek to guide you through times of joy and uncertainty.
Before you make any changes to your plan, please give us a call. We have your best interests at heart and we will help lead you in the direction you want to go. We can be your sounding board, listening to your concerns, and helping you align your money with what’s truly important both now and in the future. Especially in times of stress, it can be difficult to see your plan through an objective lens, and we can help you remember the vision and keep your plan on track.
The aftermath of the election might cause confusion and uncertainty, but we will be like the lighthouse, guiding you through the dark, safely to shore. Give our team a call today. We would love to discuss your plan and help bring confidence back to your financial life.