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August 30, 2017
All of our hearts go out to the people in Texas dealing with the hurricane and the unprecedented tropical storm that has followed. Seeing the images on TV of the flooding, the rescues, and the people in shelters has had us thinking about what we all can learn from this.
Gratitude for what’s most important. In everyday life it’s easy to focus on getting ahead, material accumulation, and the minutia and worries of daily life. Sadly, sometimes it takes a huge event to wake us up and bring our attention back to what is most important in life. It can be an illness, death of a loved one, or like Hurricane Harvey, a natural disaster. In the TV interviews we notice over and over that people will mention the loss, fear, and grief they are feeling, but also their gratitude for getting out safely and for the responders and volunteers who have helped.
Take a moment right now and think of three things you are most grateful for in your life. A focus on gratitude can move you from fear, sadness, and worry to allow you to be better able to actually help and support.
Prepare for the unexpected. Don’t miss the message that those of us left physically unscathed by this disaster can learn from the people affected. Do you have the proper homeowners and auto insurance in place? Do you have a box with important documents you can grab if you needed to leave your home quickly or do you have this information securely stored on line where you could easily access? Have you built up your solutions fund (aka emergency fund) in case your income stops for a while?
Help where you can. It is so inspiring seeing ordinary citizens in their boats, kayaks, and Jet Ski’s recuing people. The stories of neighbors helping neighbors are so heartwarming. Actually watching other’s kind acts can inspire and motivate more good deeds. It can be difficult to watch a lot of news as it feels so bad – but this type of news is different. This is when humanity is at its best. If you aren’t helping directly with the flood victims in Texas, where can you lend a hand or do a kind deed?
Open your heart and your wallet.Don’t just feel badly about this disaster; listen to the pull you are feeling to help. Donate what you can. The need is expected to go on for a long time with so many people displaced from their homes. There are so many good organizations that are contributing to the relief effort in Texas. Find one that speaks to you.
The American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey disaster relief is a popular and impactful choice for donations. One of our partners, TD Ameritrade Institutional, is offering to match each donation made on its site, doubling the impact of every dollar given. Click here to donate with a match.
Sending love and light to all those affected by Harvey and the aftermath….
All of us Kohlhepp Investment Advisors, Ltd.
Source: Ellen Rogin, CPA, CFP®
August 16, 2017
So far, the world markets seem to be shrugging off the sabre-rattling coming from North Korea (normal behavior) and the U.S. White House (complete departure from policy). The smart money is betting that the distant but suddenly headline-grabbing possibility of the first conflict between two countries armed with nuclear weapons will amount to a tempest in a teapot.
Meanwhile, the U.S. stock market has been testing new highs for months, and experts cannot quite explain why valuations have been rising amid such low volatility.
So the question is quite logical: isn’t this a good time to pare back or get out of the market until valuations return to their historical norms, or at least until the North Korean “crisis” blows over?
The quick answer is that there’s never a good time to try to time the market. The longer answer is that this may actually be a particularly bad time to try it.
What’s happening between the U.S. and Korea is admittedly unprecedented. In the past, the U.S. largely ignored the bluster and empty threats coming out of the tiny, dirt-poor Communist regime, and believe it or not, that also seems to be what the military doing now. Yes, our President did blurt out the term “fire and fury” in impromptu remarks to the press, and later doubled down on the term by suggesting that his warning wasn’t worded strongly enough. But the U.S. military seems to be responding with a yawn. There are no Naval carrier groups anywhere near Korea at the moment; the U.S.S. Carl Vinson and the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt are both still engaged in training exercises off the U.S. West Coast, and the U.S.S. Nimitz is currently patrolling the Persian Gulf. Nor has the State Department called for the evacuation of non-essential personnel from South Korea, as it would if it believed that tensions were leading toward a military confrontation.
Meanwhile, on the home front, the U.S. economy continues to grow slowly but steadily, and in the second quarter 72.2% of companies in the S&P 500 index have reported earnings above forecast.
What does that mean? It means that you will probably see a certain amount of selling due to panic over the North Korean standoff, which will make stocks less expensive—a classic buying opportunity. History has given all of us many opportunities to panic, going back to World War I and World War II, and more recently 9/11—but those who stayed the course reaped enormous benefits from those who abandoned their stock positions.
If you’re feeling panic over the North Korean situation, by all means, go in the nearest bedroom and scream—and then share some sympathy for the Americans living in the island territory of Guam, which is in the direct path of the North Korean bluster. Just don’t sabotage your financial well-being in the process.
Edward J. Kohlhepp, Jr., CFP®, MBA
Edward J. Kohlhepp, CFP®, ChFC, CLU, CPC, MSPA
Founder & CEO
This material was prepared by BobVeres.com., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.