What To Do Now
Hey there. So, it's been a crazy couple of days. And its starting to get scary. You know, we've seen the World Health Organization say we're in a pandemic, the President addressed the nation last night. Many states have issued guidance on how to conduct public gatherings, and we saw the stock market decline into what is called bear market territory, or it's declined greater than 20 percent from its recent high.
If you're scared, you have every reason to be scared. There's a lot of scary headlines out there. It's scary for a couple of reasons. It's scary because, you know, the health, our own health and the health of our loved ones and friends are at risk. Next, we feel like we don't have a lot of control. And third, deep down, in our gut, we feel that things can get worse. And the unfortunate truth is that things can get worse, but it can also get better.
As a financial planner, you know, I'm a student of what the past has done or what has happened in the markets in the past. And we use that information to help us understand what the future may hold. Now, we don't have a recent pandemic to use in order to understand what is gonna to happen. But we do have a recent crisis to help us understand what happened in that situation, and the results of it. And that's the 2008 financial crisis.
You know, I was a student going through undergrad with my finance degree at that time, and I was learning and observing what was going on the markets. And it was scary. There were people concerned that the entire financial system was gonna collapse. And the stock market took a huge hit. You know, on the the year we were more than 30% down and for during the year greater than 40% declines in certain indices. It was scary, and then the recession came. Unemployment hit 10%, one of the highest rates of unemployment that we've seen in 50 years.
But the reality is that we came out on the other side. You know, unemployment recovered, the stock market recovered, and things got better than what were in the depths of the recession and the financial crisis.
It's important for us to use that to help us through this current experience we're going through. You know, this is a unique, new, situation, but history has a tendency to repeat itself.
You know, for us individuals, we feel like we want to take control. And if you're somebody that you feel like you need to be doing something today, here are a couple of things that you can do to begin to help yourself through this kind of uncertainty.
The first is to take care your health, be thankful of the health you have today, and be thankful for friends and family. And take stock of your current financial situation. Understanding where you are now will help you move in a future direction.
Second, start to grow an emergency fund, today. If you haven't done it yet, now is a really good time. You know, the markets are telling us that there will probably be a slowdown. And with slowdowns it usually means unemployment. If you haven't started an emergency fund for the rainy day, now is a good time to start.
Third, if you are an investor, be sure to be looking and remembering why you are investing. You're doing it for a reason. You're saving for goals, usually for many people it's retirement, which may be more than a decade out in the future. Do take stock and remember why you are investing, and to think back on "Do I need to focus on the day to day movements for something that's gonna occur ten years in the future?" Now is a good time, as an investor, to learn. And if you are hesitant about what's going on to learn and observe. But I encourage you not to take hasty decisions.
And last, you know, this is a rather unique situation. For many of us, this is the first time we've experienced anything like this. And it can weigh on our mental health. So, do reach out to somebody to talk to. Whether it's a friend, family member, spouse, a doctor or therapist. Whoever to communicate whatever situation you are in. Don't internalize all this. It is a scary time, but you don't need to be going through it by yourself.
And last, if you have specific questions that you have for me, feel free to reach to me. Whether that is just catching up because we haven't talked in years, or if you're kinda needing to understand what you need to do in your own personal financial life. Feel free to reach out. My calendar is in the description below, as well as my phone number which you can text or call. And do reach out.
You know, this isn't the most uplifting video that I've put out, but I think its important that we talk about facts, what has happened in the past, and to begin to identify things that we can do today in order to move forward. The truth is that it can get worse, but with good planning and good behaviors, and a sense of some optimism, knowing that it is going to get better in the future, that's important to keep in mind.
So, lets keep our eyes on the horizon, address the concerns today, know that there's uncertainty in our futures, but to continue to work forward in a better direction. I hope you reach out, and I hope you have a great rest of your week. Thanks!
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