If you are paying any attention to the media the last few weeks you know at least two things: China and the United States are having a tariff standoff, and the market (AKA all things tradeable) is having a rough end to the summer. On the latter point, why does volatility to the downside drive so much hysteria and so many prime time CNBC specials? I believe it is simply because we are all human.
(750 words and approximate reading time 3.5 minutes)
Which is more important?
How many times have you stopped and considered the real meaning of words used every day? More importantly, how often do you challenge your own notion of that meaning by looking it up? Recently, I heard a friend and father I respect tell his son that discipline is more important than motivation. He said, “Motivation can come and go, but discipline will take you where you must go, even when you are not feeling very motivated”. It was compelling enough to write down, and consider not only the meaning of the words but also the implications. It is great advice, and I thought I would share what I found. Read on.
In 1931, the New York Times, celebrating its 80th birthday invited eight American innovators to predict what life would be like in 80 years. Among them, Dr. William Ogburn, a sociologist, predicted that "people will become more nervous and mental disorders will rise for a time, but by 2011 mental hygienists will probably have the upper hand.” W.J. Mayo, the founder of the Mayo Clinic, said that by 2011, the average life span, then only 54, would rise to 70 (it was 78). As we have written before, market predictions are generally useless even when correct. Why is there such a fascination with predictions to begin with?
In 2009, few could have imagined a 10-year bull market, the longest in U.S. history. To the delight of multitudes of investors (those who remained invested anyway), here we stand, giddy from experiencing record-high stock prices and record-low volatility.
But will it last?
Research shows that two-thirds of institutional investors believe the bull market in stocks will reach its end this year. Further, they expect the next financial crisis to come in one to five years, according to a Natixis survey.
The eternal question for financial advisors:
How do you instill discipline in clients when they face emotionally charged environments?
On June 3, 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold completed the first-ever free solo (ahem, no ropes) of Yosemite National Park’s epic El Capitan.
Topics: Behavioral Finance