Seneca Reid Ltd Logo

Life Centred Financial Planning

Amid the 2020 Market and Economic Predictions

Posted by Andrew_Smith on Tuesday 14th of January 2020.

Amid the 2020 Market and Economic Predictions, let us Focus on What You Can Control to Improve Your Financial Well-Being

You probably noticed that most of the things that the “experts” are warning you to prepare for are things beyond your control. Rather than stare into a crystal ball and make predictions, we prefer to look at our clients’ lifetime planning and focus on how we can help them get the best life possible with the money they have – no matter what happens in 2020.

You can’t control the global economy …

Brexit, tariffs, the US – China trade dispute, changes to energy and agriculture policy, mergers and acquisitions, and half a dozen surprises are going to affect how the world does business in 2020. Anyone’s guesses about how these factors will – or won’t – ripple through your portfolio are just that: guesses.

… but you can control how you make money.

No one loves everything about their work. But if you’re sticking with an unrewarding job for another year because you feel like you have to, you don’t. You can control the mindset with which you approach your job and appreciate how your efforts improve life for your end customers and for your family. Or, you can explore how you could reapply your existing skillset and interests in another, more fulfilling field, or at a different job with your current employer.

You can’t control the markets …

Here’s a prediction you can take to the bank: at some point in the next 12 months, something unexpected is going to send the markets into a tizzy. A Silicon Valley unicorn is going to have an underwhelming IPO. An earthquake on the other side of the world is going to require a big influx of aid. A US election is going to spark two very different reactions from two very different groups of investors. In the short term, the market will go through a correction that sets off a whole new wave of doomsaying.

… but you can stick to your long-term plan.

In the long run, that correction is going to register as another small dip on a line that continues to trend upwards. As you’ve probably heard us say before, market volatility is not the permanent loss that the financial press would have you believe but a normal part of long-term investment wealth-building. Sticking to your long-term plan is a much safer and more reliable strategy than trying to “time” your savings and investments based on today’s headlines.

You can’t control politics …

Well, you do have SOME control here … if you vote!

But ultimately, the global economy is bigger than any one president, prime minister or political party which happen to be in power – especially when we’re planning for a retirement that’s going to last upwards of 30 years.

… but you can control how you plan and account for life changes.

Of course, that doesn’t mean nothing has changed in the last 4-5 years. Whether or not you agree with certain politicians or policies, disciplined behaviour and sticking to your plan will bring you closer to your desired outcomes. The more prepared you are for things you CAN predict – like kids going to university – the better equipped you’ll be for things you can’t predict.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.