Since Trump’s election, a lot of people are wondering if their financial plan needs amending. The concern is warranted. The biggest theme underlying a Trump presidency is that we don’t know what to expect on so many fronts. Lots of things are still playing out. Information is still developing. When calculating probabilities based on complex data, our ability to make decisions with conviction is naturally compromised.
There is a lot of emotion involved in elections. Historically speaking, investors like new presidents from a different party than the party that is exiting office — but that’s not enough to act on. And, that positive emotion doesn’t tend to last very long. If the new president hasn’t solved everyone’s problems by the morning after inauguration, the masses tend to turn negative. I may be exaggerating a bit when I say the “morning after inauguration,” but I mean the point quite literally that people are biased toward unrealistically short-term time horizons.
As you know, we don’t trade just for the sake of trading. Investing takes discipline. Sometimes we need to wait a bit on things to shake out before we act on the desire to start making changes. Time is our friend, but timing isn’t. We should be ready to make strategic moves when opportunities present themselves rather than scrambling at the last minute and missing open windows. More attempts at timing aren’t the solution, as any of our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ would echo. Instead, getting prepared to move should be the focus.
The fact is, it remains to be seen how changes associated with the new president will affect investors. So instead of focusing on what we cannot control, we focus on what we can. Don’t make the mistake of betting on how things might shake out, but on the other hand, don’t want until it is too late to begin planning if you haven’t already.
A lot is subject to change in 2017, so some plans will need to be updated. That isn’t to say all of that change can be attributed to a new presidency. We don’t believe in trying to forecast the future, but we do attempt to understand probabilities and keep you on the right side of them. Further, your actions going forward should be ones that increase your probabilities of success. Make sure you understand what you can control, how you can control it, and have an action plan for execution.
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