Staying Financially Grounded
During times of market volatility, investors can feel like they’re riding a bumpy roller coaster ride. And while our worldview about the markets is that human beings are fundamentally growth seeking and resilient, we recognize that the bumps along the way can make investors feel dizzy. One of the ways we try to help mitigate this dizziness is by encouraging you keep your Live Big® goals a priority. With this in mind, we share a few ideas to remind you to take a deep breath and stay focused on the things most important in your life.
Financial anxiety can take many forms. Some may allow their stress to hinder them from making decisions, and others may make rash decisions without a full understanding of the implications. No matter if you respond in one of these two ways or otherwise, these behaviors are normal! When you feel yourself falling into an anxious mindset, accepting that these feelings are “normal” can help you take small actions to keep you from falling any further. A great first step to building confidence in this realm is to stay organized. For many, organization can provide a clearer depiction of where you are and where you need to go. For example, designating a folder for your tax documents can help prepare you for filing your taxes. You will be able to collect all of the required documents and move to the next step swiftly and confidently. Strategies like this can help keep you focused on your overall financial picture and provide you a path to your next objective.
Refer to Your Policies
At Yeske Buie, we believe in Policy-Based Financial Planning® as an enabler of financial groundedness. Financial planning policies act as a set of guidelines to make it easier to stick with a consistent course of action in the midst of an ever-changing environment. Think of them as guardrails for the unexpected. One of the keys to grounded policies is to align them with your values. When creating policies for our Clients, we start by helping them explore areas in their life that motivate them and we work together to create goals that align with these areas. From there, we design policies that will bridge a Client’s goals and values together. For instance, one may feel that financial security is a source of empowerment. A means to increase one’s financial security, then, might be to create an emergency fund for unexpected hardships. An example of a policy that may help one achieve this goal goal may be to save 15% of your income and half of every windfall, such as a bonus, toward your emergency fund. A policy, such as this one, can help keep you on track to achieving your goals with minimal thinking or stress and by sticking with percentages rather than fixed amounts, this creates a goal that is always achievable.
Befriend your Anxiety
Take a moment to remember a time when you felt anxiety and discomfort wash over you. My guess is that, like most, you quickly tried to deflect these feelings. Next time, try a different approach. When you feel anxious, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What are things I can do to better my future self?
- How did I handle a prior situation when I felt this way?
In doing this you can create more awareness in recognizing what you fear and the sources. And with awareness, you can be better prepared to take the steps necessary to overcome your fears, rather than avoiding the situation all together and continuing your discomfort. Creating strategies to move past difficult life situations can help you feel better equipped to continue working towards your goals.
Staying organized, creating policies, and familiarizing yourself with your anxiety are just a few ideas to help you feel grounded, motivated, and secure in times that reflect the opposite. Let’s be honest, anxiety has a place in all of our lives. Let’s identify it, and use it to keep us going. And of course, whenever you experience feelings of stress or uneasiness during moments of volatility or otherwise, know that we are always available to talk and remind you of your policies and the goals at the top of your priority list.