The Whitnell Way
Insights For Business Owners, Executives And Affluent Families
Viewing Blogs by David Peckenpaugh
The Value Of Hard Times
How They Can, If We Let Them, Center Us On What Matters
I want to ask you a question. How would you describe 2020? As I reflect over the events of 2020, a few things come to mind: the global pandemic and stay-at-home orders, racial unrest, a collapse in the economy and markets and the subsequent government-assisted rebounds, and all the divisions and contentious rhetoric around the national election. Did all of these, collectively, add up to a bad year? I’m not so sure about that. I would describe 2020 as a hard year. I would also say that not all things that are hard are bad. Sometimes hard things can produce good results.
Hard times can, if we let them, pull us back to our center. When things are good, we get busy with routines. But hard times interrupt our routines and force us to think about what we really want out of life. For most people, that’s found in centering on family. Here are my perspectives on the value of hard times.
How To Make Decisions You Won’t Regret
A Framework For Making Big Decisions In Life And Wealth
My daughter and son-in-law recently moved to Texas, taking our grandchild with them. It was tough to see them go. Even though we’ve visited them and enjoyed our time in Texas, it’s not the same as having them nearby. They said to me that the opportunity for them was simply too good to pass up.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on how I’ve made big decisions over the course of my life. What I found surprising is that many of the same guiding principles that shape how I’ve made decisions in life also shape how I advise people to make decisions with their wealth. None of us have a crystal ball to see the future and make perfect decisions every time. But there is a guiding framework I’d like to share with you that I think can help you make decisions you probably won’t regret.
How To Respond When The Markets Go Up
Should You Change Your Strategy?
In early January of 2018, the financial media watched in awe as the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 25,000. This event made national headlines. The stock market defied skeptics, continuing its long run higher and rewarding investors with a gain of over 50% in just the prior two years. Yet, the most amazing thing during this period was the S&P 500 producing positive results 14 months in a row. This occurred with such an extremely low level of volatility that it was nearly unprecedented.
Following these strong gains and with the return of volatility, you might be wondering if this is the time to change your investment strategy. None of us want to miss out on the opportunity for attractive rates of return. But there is a nagging feeling that the market can't continue to rise like it has. Even stronger is the fear that that the market may drop again and give back its recent gains.
Before you make any decisions about how to respond to this extended period of market growth, I'd like to provide some perspectives that have served our clients well for decades.
Are You On An Investment Roller Coaster?
How To Get Your Feet Back On The Ground
Since 2009, the markets have made huge strides. While most investors still remember the pain of 2007 and 2008 when the markets were way down, as the markets have risen, those memories are fading. For some who are invested in the market today, it’s fun again with stock prices moving higher. Even so, many remain worried that the markets will go down again.
Up. Up. Up. Down. Down. Down. It’s like a roller coaster. Emotional investors, those who make decisions based on short-term market swings, are often subjected to a difficult ride. When the markets go up, they feel better and buy. When the markets go down, they become more pessimistic and sell. Have you done this? Do you know someone who’s done this?
The American Dream Is Not Dead
But It May Be Harder To Achieve Today
It has become more fashionable of late to say that you can’t get a square deal anymore in the United States. Whether from the political left or right, the message seems to be the same. If you work hard, play by the rules, pay your taxes, live within your means, invest for the future – in other words if you do everything right – you still may not be able to achieve the American dream.
The left likes to blame the one percenters. The right seems to suggest that somehow the entire system is rigged. Their message is that the odds are stacked against you, so why even try? The political candidates say, in so many words, vote for me and my party and we’ll fix it for you. We’ll give you back the dream. But do you really trust the government with your financial future?
Prepare Now For An Uncertain Future
How To Protect Your Family From The Unpredictable
Twenty eight years ago I was standing in the maternity ward at the hospital, holding the hand of my new-born daughter Jacki. She is the youngest of our three daughters. I’ll never forget the joy of that moment and the miracle of a new life, looking down into her tiny little face.
What I didn’t know, at that time, is that 28 years later I would be in yet another hospital standing by Jacki’s side. But this time, I would be holding her hand as she lay in the intensive care unit of a hospital for 12 days, unable to speak or open her eyes as a result of a traumatic brain injury.
Are You Fearful That Global Events Will Sink Your Investments?
How To Respond To The European Debt Crisis And Other Geopolitical Events
The news these days concerning geopolitics and the global economy is worrisome to investors. The European Union is struggling to figure out how to get its economy growing while dealing with debt-laden countries like Greece and Spain. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in what appears to be an endless conflict. On our home-front, all eyes are on the Fed as it moves toward raising interest rates. In the US, the administration and Congress are trying to decide how to respond to the brutal ISIS aggression in Iraq and Syria and a growing level of uncertainty and instability around the world.
Why Should Investors Be Cautious Now?
Lessons Learned From The Shores Of Lake Michigan
This summer we got away regularly to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. My wife and I love to spend time there with our children and grandchildren. We enjoy visiting with family and friends and taking long walks on the beach. Our grandchildren love playing in the water and I must confess that making sand castles with them provides a certain undeniable pleasure.
Last week, as my wife and I were enjoying some time together on the beach, we saw a storm brewing on the horizon. Within just a few minutes the weather completely changed. A beautiful sunny afternoon turned dark and cold. The placid waters churned and grew rough. The warm breezes turned into tumultuous gusts.
I Am Optimistic About The Future
It Is Better Than You Might Think
If you’ve read my other articles, you may have noticed a trend. I've pointed out that news reporting tends to focus almost exclusively on negative developments. It's all about ratings, of course, and unfortunately, bad news attracts a bigger audience. So that is what we get.
Are You An Investor Or Speculator?
Who You Listen To May Be The Deciding Factor
It seems nearly impossible to avoid the financial press. Whether at the airport, the gym, a hotel restaurant or even at home on TV, the financial press always seems to have the latest and greatest trend, idea, stock tip or other “must-know” information. Frankly, it can be addicting.
Risk – Friend Or Enemy?
Is It Necessary To Achieve Your Goals?
Today’s investors seem to have a rather high level of anxiety about where the stock market is headed next. This is understandable. While I do sympathize with this anxiety, it brings to mind an experience I had many years ago. As a young investment professional, I learned an important lesson about managing money for individuals. Risk is not something to avoid. In fact, it’s necessary. But defining the right risks for each individual investor – now that’s the real challenge.