I've been married for 32 years and I know my wife pretty well. I know that when we are together and she is being very quiet, something is amiss. Sooner or later, I ask the first question, "Is something wrong?" A non-committal answer, no or yes, usually means, "Yes, something is wrong." Continued quiet often leads to the next question, "Are you angry?" Sometimes, the answer is yes and it is because I have done something she didn't want me to, or didn't do something she did want me to (I'm being polite here). Sometimes, the question, "Are you angry?" leads to an unexpected explosion!So it is with some anxiety that I ask this question of my clients and prospective clients. Are you angry? If you are, there have certainly been enough negative economic, financial, and natural events in the past few years (even decade) to aid in your feeling that way. I might also ask, "Are you frustrated?" or "Are you afraid?"
Investing has certainly been a challenge, often a frustrating challenge, in recent years. A recent survey points to the reasons investors are fearful today. Three quarters of Americans are worried about their money, whether they have enough and whether it will last. As a result, they are also worried about their future. The recent recession has left many feeling they have little or no control over their financial lives. On a broader front, a majority of Americans are also worried about the future of the United States, its standing and actions in the world, and whether our country will be a better or worse place to live in for our children and grandchildren.
As your financial advisor, I am here to support you in this seemingly chaotic world. I have your back. More specifically: I am here and available to meet with you. If you are afraid or angry about the market (or about your portfolio), or simply have financial questions that need answers, let's get together. I promise to listen well. Please call or email me.
We are actively managing your portfolio, and we have choices and options. The economic and financial environment continues to be very challenging, and since you have delegated the day-to-day management of your assets to First Affirmative and me, at times it might not seem that much is happening. It might appear we are being too passive. I can assure you that is not the case. I have ongoing, weekly conversations with the investment team at First Affirmative about the makeup of our portfolios, and about our tactics and strategies in the face of changing conditions. There is ongoing evaluation and re-evaluation of the performance of our portfolio managers, and of your accounts. We know our managers are working hard for you.
Again, though, our ongoing communication is very important. If something has changed in your life, or if you have simply become anxious about your portfolio, we should talk. There are always different options and choices we can make together. You, and we, have more control than you might think.
You are invested in a sustainable and responsible (SRI) portfolio. Engaging in SRI allows you to do so much more than simply gamble or speculate on a riskier world. You are boldly placing your money where your values and dreams are. You are truly investing - investing in your own future, yes, but more - investing in a world of greater opportunity for those who have little, and in a world with ample fresh air, clean water, and healthy food for your children and grandchildren to enjoy.
So if you are angry, harness it. Get in touch with me if you have questions or concerns. If you have loved ones or friends who are angry about their finances and could use someone to watch their back, refer them to me. If you are a prospective client interested in SRI and looking for this type of service, call or email me. It is a complicated and challenging environment. Let's work together to improve it.