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Lessons & Opportunities

DecisionPoint Market Update

As we enter the final quarter of 2020, there is little doubt that future historians will look back on this year as uniquely challenging by nearly every measure.  A life-threatening pandemic, a global economic recession, civil and political unrest, record summer heat and drought in many parts of the U.S., historic wildfires in the West, devastating hurricanes in the South, and a pending U.S. election are just a few of the conditions which have been altering our lives and causing many of us extreme levels of anxiety.

However, in this year’s seemingly endless metaphorical darkness, there are brightening rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds.  U.S. jobs are coming back in record numbers and the unemployment rate has been steadily dropping.  Mortgage rates are at historical lows and there is a housing boom happening in America.  Nine vaccines are now in Phase 3 trials and results thus far have been extremely promising.  Many equity asset-classes have now rebounded strongly from their lows in March and economic forecasts for 2021 seem to be improving each month.

While we understand that many people in the U.S. and around the world continue to suffer greatly from the effects of COVID-19, all of us at DecisionPoint want to reaffirm our faith in the power of human ingenuity and the resilience and adaptability of capitalism.  We are confident that the same human ingenuity that took us from the horse and buggy to the Space X rocket; and that eradicated smallpox and polio from the earth, will subdue this current pandemic in one way or another.  We believe that capitalism, which has lifted billions of people out of poverty over the last two centuries, will continue to foster new technological innovations and medical breakthroughs to improve the state of humanity and create new and endless wealth for the global masses!  We know that the capital markets provide the best mechanism for our clients to participate in that wealth creation for themselves and their families and we think the future is very bright!

Financial Planning Lessons and Opportunities from 2020

  • An Emergency Fund is Important - Having emergency cash reserves can make a big difference when unexpected recessions, job losses, and unforeseen expenses occur.  An Emergency Fund should consist of 3-6 times your total monthly expenditures.
  • We may never see mortgage rates this low again - We hope you have each evaluated the benefits of refinancing any mortgage debt that you have.
  • Timing the market in your retirement and investment accounts can be dangerous - Many Americans panicked in March when things looked bleak, and they moved to cash in their accounts.  This effectively locked in over 30% losses, and they missed out on the quick and rapid market recovery.  
  • You need an estate plan - Life can be unpredictable, especially in a career like firefighting where you put yourself in risky situations during every shift.  Every adult with dependents or “stuff” needs to have a legal document which defines how your medical and financial needs are addressed if you become incapacitated, or who gets your stuff when you die.
  • Having a financial plan in place can remove a lot of the uncertainty and anxiety during times of economic and world turmoil - Go through the financial planning process with us!
  • We all need balance during stressful times - Make sure you are finding ways to unplug, destress, and to make time for personal relationships. 

Please contact us if you would like to schedule a virtual or in-person account review or financial planning meeting. We are willing to meet in-person in your home, at a coffee shop, or virtually with you and your family to build or update your financial plan.

As always, please reach out if we can be of assistance! 

- Your DecisionPoint Financial Planning Team -