Will your plan get you through the winter? (February 2021)
Punxsutawney Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter. And he didn’t mess around. We haven’t seen snowfall totals in the northeast like this in years and many parts of the country not used to this kind of winter, like Texas, are getting snow/ice/frigid temps and just trying to survive until it warms up over the weekend. To say that life is unpredictable, especially after the past 12 months, is an understatement. But sometimes adversity can serve a positive purpose in reminding us that when the good times are here, they don’t last forever (and BTW, neither do the bad times). The point is to be prepared for both before they arrive.
This is the basis of how we approach building our clients’ financial models. It seems simple enough, but often is not done. The making of overnight millionaires (e.g. GameStop) grabs the headlines and often the focus of planners and clients alike. It’s much more exciting to talk about who the next Google or Amazon may be or trying to predict the next hot sector, rather than making sure you have enough liability insurance or emergency savings in the bank (earning nothing) or disability insurance in the event you get sick or hurt and can’t work for 6 months/a year/5 years, etc. But it’s the balance of the entire plan, the Protection, Savings, and Growth components that determine its success in both good times and bad. This holds true in every phase of planning: Accumulation, Distribution, and Transfer.
Every sports fan has heard the saying: defense wins championships. Tom Brady won the MVP, but it was Tampa Bay’s defense who got them to the Super Bowl and then got them the trophy. Now a football team or a financial model with a strong defense and no offense can’t win the championship on its own. It’s about balance and the ability to pivot depending on what is going on in your world and the world around you.
Spring is coming. Pitchers and catchers are reporting. But for right now, our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those across the country without power, heat, water, etc.