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StonebridgeMARKETS | Control Your Focus, Control Your Future

Over the past few weeks, news of the spread of COVID-19 has dominated media channels. It’s in your news feed, it’s in your inbox, and everyone around you is likely talking about it. However, even more newsworthy than the virus itself is what has happened in reaction to it. The stock market has fallen; entire countries are on lockdown, tours and sporting events cancelled, and millions of children are not in school. In the US, panic over rising case counts had triggered a rush on stores and personal stockpiling; to the extent toilet paper shelves are empty.

Many of the above behaviors are driven by one emotion, fear. So how do we avoid making decisions based on fear? By controlling our focus. We may not be able to control the events that happen in the world, but we do get to decide how we respond to it. No matter what chaos, what adversity comes your way, you can refuse to allow it to control your life. It’s as the great philosopher Alan Watts said, “The rule for all fear is to head straight into it. When you are sailing in a storm, you don’t let the wave hit your boat on the side. You go bow into wave, and ride it.”

Focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t. You can’t control where the economy is headed and whether the stock market will soar or plunge. Physicist Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is difficult, especially the future.” Focus so intently on what you can control that no matter what happens to the economy or the financial markets you will thrive and achieve your greatest potential.

Our goals-based wealth management approach will help you face the fear, embrace the uncertainty and control your focus. This more holistic approach identifies specific career, life and wealth goals, and establishes priorities based on how you desire to live your life. It helps you:

  • Control focus, pursue your goals and grow in confidence, even in volatile market conditions
  • Remain fearless when markets challenge your patience
  • Refrain from counterproductive behaviors and decisions such as market timing

So what are you focusing on? Are you unconsciously letting the media and the current market volatility create fear and anxiety, which is drawing on your focus and distracting from the bigger story of your life? In these times, we need to reframe our view of the stock market. Vanguard founder Jack Bogle famously said, “Investing is about enjoying the returns earned by businesses. And the stock market is nothing but a giant distraction in that quest to acquire returns that business earns.”

Finally, at Stonebridge we remain focused on your career, life and wealth goals. Based in over a century of financial history, we understand that corrections, bear markets, and recoveries follow similar patterns. Not only do we recognize these patterns; we are also utilizing them in a disciplined investment process by:

  • Reviewing cash flow reserves and second-tier liquidity, where we, not the market remain in control
  • Rebalancing goals-based portfolios back to target weightings
  • Tax-loss harvesting
  • Deploying additional capital

Knowledge brings understanding, and understanding brings resolve.

To learn more about our distinctive goals-based approach to life and wealth management, please do not hesitate to contact our team directly.

We look forward to continuing to provide useful insights and relevant solutions focused on helping you achieve your greatest financial potential.

Thank you for your continued trust and confidence in Stonebridge.

All the best,

Mitch

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