The war in Ukraine. Inflation. Stock market jitters. A pandemic. The looming climate crisis.
I’ve personally found it hard to focus over the last couple weeks. To a part of me, it feels like the world has reached a tipping point of bad news and despair.
Against that backdrop, working on money, finances and investing has felt... out of place, tone deaf... and maybe even pointless.
And yet the hopeful part of me knows that there is still a point. There is still reason to get out of bed and show up for life. Even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Even if the getting out of bed is less of a “jump” and more of a “slump.”
Today, I wanted to share how I’m currently navigating the world.
I don’t know that my perspectives are particularly insightful, and they certainly aren’t original. But it feels important to say something rather than carry on and pretending what’s happening in the world isn’t relevant.
Engaging with Current Events When It’s All Gone to Shit
I want to stay informed about what’s happening in the world. And I don’t want to feel so burdened by the bad news that it prevents me from living a meaningful, fulfilling and productive life.
Even during the worst of the pandemic, that approach felt (mostly) doable. Lately, it’s been more challenging.
I have good days and bad days. And I certainly don’t have any silver bullet solution.
I did find a recent piece by Oliver Burkeman entitled “Becoming news-resilient” to be remarkably articulate and centering. I couldn’t frame things better than he does, so I’ll simply share a selection of his writing.
Which I thought perfectly captured how I was feeling.
He goes on to suggest the right approach to the news may be one of...
The Fragility & Resiliency of Humanity & Our World
The world is big, complex and messy.
Every day, both unimaginable horrors and breathtaking miracles take place. Unspeakable acts of cruelty play out alongside heartbreakingly selfless acts of compassion.
This isn’t to minimize the awfulness of what’s taking place in Ukraine - or any of the many other humanitarian crises.
Rather, it’s to remember that devastating and heartbreaking events do occur in our world - and there is still reason to be hopeful about the future. Progress is never linear. Life is never fair.
Both our world - and we humans - are exceptionally fragile and remarkably resilient.
The pandemic highlighted this fragility and resiliency for me. Covid was - and IS - a tragedy that’s claimed the lives of far too many. And yet the world has managed to carry on. Imperfectly, messily and sometimes tragically - but we soldier on.
The war in Ukraine may feel different. Perhaps the war in Ukraine is different. The prospect of direct conflict between nuclear superpowers is of course terrifying.
And yet, this type of conflict isn’t unprecedented. The Cold War is not merely an expression - it was literally a slow-moving conflict punctuated by many acute moments, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, any of which could have ended very (VERY) badly. And yet didn’t.
I have no idea how this crisis will play out. No one does. And yet I remain optimistic that a resolution will eventually be found. Clearly not without immense suffering and loss of life, but I believe that eventually things will get better. Not perfect - but better.
I try and keep an optimistic perspective, in part, because I want to. I want to believe the world is, on balance, a good place and that the future is, on the whole, bright. And I believe this view is supported by the historical record. There have been countless wars, famines, despair and suffering. And yet here we are. And yet, so much good has come to be in our world. I choose to believe - or at least hope - the future will be similar.
Investing in Times of War, Inflation & General Despair
To part of me, it still feels tone deaf to talk about the appropriate investing strategy in light of current events.
AND investing is a critical element of self-care. Taking care of your invested assets is one way we take care of future you.
I’ve fielded a lot of questions lately about how I’ve updated my investment strategy in light of the war, rising inflation, volatile stock markets and the skyrocketing price of oil.
I haven’t changed a single thing about how I’m invested. And I haven’t since well before the pandemic began.
How is that possible? It’s the magic of a strategic investing plan. That plan is built around my life goals and timeline. And that plan incorporates the fact that there will always be unpredictable world developments like war and unpredictable economic developments like high inflation. The stock market will have wild swings up and down.
My strategic investment plan factors in all this unpredictability and volatility. It’s built to not just endure that volatility, but to benefit from it.
My investing plan is simple - but it ain’t always easy. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. That’s one of the reasons I’ve hired my own financial planner. Sure I could do the work myself — but it’s incredibly valuable to have an impartial professional help me make (and stick with) the right decisions. Especially when they’re uncomfortable.
If you have an intentional and thoughtful strategic investment plan in place - I’d encourage you to stay the course.
And if you don’t have that kind of plan - consider scheduling a time to chat with me. Building you a strategic investing plan is one essential element of my financial planning services.
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If this all feels a bit much, give me a shout. I work one-on-one with therapists from all over the country helping them address issues just like the ones we talked about today! Learn the different ways you might work with me on my services page.
Turning Point is a registered investment advisor in the state of California. Please visit turningpointhq.com for important information and additional disclosures. This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes financial, legal or tax advice; a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security; or investment advisory services. I encourage you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Read the full Disclaimer here.