Amid 2020 Predictions and World War 3, Focus on What You Can Control
2020 financial predictions might be bouncing around your news feeds, along with BBC News headlines on US drone strikes in Iraq assassinating a top Iranian general leading to threats of inciting World War 3. Throw in the Brexit negotiations, an upcoming Trump impeachment trial followed by a presidential election and the talking heads might have your head spinning right now. Frankly it’s all a bit of a mess.
You’ve probably noticed that most of the things that the “experts” are warning you to prepare for are things beyond your control. Rather than stare into a crystal ball and make ‘hot stock’ predictions, we prefer to look at our clients’ lifetime cashflows and focus on how we can help them get the best life possible with the money they have – no matter what happens in 2020.
You can’t control the global economy …
Brexit, tariffs, the US – China trade dispute, changes to energy and agriculture policy, mergers and acquisitions, and half a dozen surprises are going to affect how the world does business in 2020. Anyone’s guesses about how these factors will – or won’t – ripple through your portfolio or pension are just that: guesses.
… but you can control how you make money.
No one loves everything about their work. But if you’re sticking with an unrewarding job for another year because you feel like you have to, you don’t. You can control the mindset with which you approach your job and appreciate how your efforts improve life for your end customers and for your family. Or, you can explore how you could reapply your existing skillset and interests in another, more fulfilling field, or at a different job with your current employer.
You can’t control the markets …
Here’s a prediction: at some point in the next 12 months, something unexpected is going to send the markets into a tizzy. A natural disaster on the other side of the world is going to require a big influx of aid. A US election is going to spark two very different reactions from two very different groups of investors. In the short term, the market will go through a correction that sets off a whole new wave of doomsaying.
… but you can stick to your long-term plan.
In the long run, that correction is going to register as another small dip on a line that continues to trend upwards over the long term. Market volatility is just a tax that investors have to pay on wealth-building. Sticking to a long-term plan is a much safer and more reliable strategy than trying to “time” buying and selling investments based on today’s often sensationalist headlines.
You can’t control our politics …
Well, you do have SOME control here … if you vote; 2020 for Local Government Elections and 2021 for the Isle of Man General Election!
But if you think back to 2016 IOM General Election, you’ll recall that much of the handwringing about what this or that candidate would mean for the economy didn’t amount to very much. Many of the economic ideas that floated around during the campaign and after the election were just hot air.
Looking further afield, exactly how Brexit may yet affect us remains anyone’s guess.
… but you can control how you adjust to new policies and life changes.
Of course, that doesn’t mean nothing has changed in the last 4 years. The new local pension laws have affected how some people manage their pension contributions and the way in which they eventually take their pension.
The more prepared you are for things you CAN control – like saving enough for children going to college/university and to live a comfortable retirement – the better equipped you’ll be to adjust for things you can’t predict.
Call us up today and let’s discuss the aspects of your financial life that that we can both control, to start 2020 with a clearer vision of your future.