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Uncertain Times

As Always When Investing, Begin With the End in Mind

You have probably noticed that financial news is making headlines lately. Inflation is the highest it’s been in decades. Economists and politicians are debating the meaning of a recession. War in Europe is causing supply and energy issues. Investors seem to have reacted to these headlines. At the end of July, the S&P 500 was down about 13% YTD.

These stories can cause us consternation and anxiety about what the future of investing might hold. Rightfully so; there is a lot of uncertainty in these stories.

It’s normal to see these headlines and wonder what to do next. Do we hold onto our investments and hope things turn around? Or do we sell out now before it gets worse? No doubt, there is plenty of advice floating around from pundits and experts.

So, what should you do?

It depends.

It’s hard to answer that question without first answering another question: why are you invested? What long-term goal are you trying to accomplish? Some people might respond that they are investing in hopes of making money. True, but there is probably a more specific goal in mind.

-          Are you investing so you can retire one day, or to fund your current retirement income?

-          Are you investing because you want to leave an inheritance?

-          Are you investing in hopes of your money keeping pace with inflation?

-          Are you investing to pay for your child’s college education?

Without a goal, it’s almost impossible to answer the question, “what should I do next?”

Having a goal makes it possible to formulate a long-term financial plan to help reach that goal. The financial plan can account for market volatility and negative returns. It can help us see that our financial goals are still attainable even when the market is down, or headlines are frightening. Market downturns become temporary bumps in the road, rather than panic inducing signals to sell.  Once we have a realistic plan in place to pursue our long-term financial goals, we can answer the question “what should I do next?”

At Partners in Planning, we help clients define their financial goals, address relevant risks and successfully implement long-term plans. We help clients begin with the end in mind so they can stay the course and avoid reacting to the latest headlines.

About Shayne Lester

Shayne Lester is Chief Executive Officer at Partners in Planning Financial Services in Norman. His practice assists clients with Retirement, Investments, and Estate Planning. More information can be found at

Shayne Lester is a Registered Principal offering Securities and Advisory Services through UNITED PLANNERS FINANCIAL SERVICES, Member FINRA, SIPC. Partners in Planning Financial Services and United Planners are not affiliated. All investing involves risk and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful.

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