One of my closest friends is an oncologist for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies on the planet. We often go cycling in the evenings to get some exercise, fresh air, and a break from our demanding lives. Last week he was sharing some of the intricacies of different types of cancer treatments. Surely, we all know someone who has been impacted by cancer, but how many of us have considered the importance of the right treatment? Interestingly, the way cancer is treated in the U.S. isn’t all that dissimilar to how inflation gets treated in the economy. I’ll withhold from calling myself a medical expert, even though the quality of my handwriting (which is abysmal) should give some measure of credibility. I do think that the comparisons between inflation and cancer treatment are worth discussing.

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Market downturns can be unsettling, particularly for creators and influencers with irregular cash flow. However, you can find certainty in uncertain times. You don’t have to predict the future to achieve your career, life, and wealth goals. You don’t have to live in fear and uncertainty. You can enjoy the journey and the creator economy with peace of mind today and greater confidence in the future. But it requires knowledge and commitment. A broad market index tracking data since 1926 in the US shows that stocks have tended to deliver positive returns over one-year, three-year, and five-year periods following steep declines. Cumulative returns show this trend to a striking effect, as seen above.

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If you were to open the front door to my house, you would be immediately greeted by a host of stuffed animals my daughter placed on the stairs and baby toys as far as the eye could see. Our living room is a minefield of pacifiers and Fisher-Price® products. But it’s still not as messy as the current financial markets and economy.

It’s hard to define the current state of the market and economy in a single word. You could call it a quandary, a quagmire, or just a complete and utter mess. It’s difficult to make heads or tails of it. There are flavors of the late 90s/early 2000s where the fundamentals, or financial strength, of companies didn’t matter (think meme stocks and crypto), mixed in with stubbornly high inflation, taking a page out of the 1970s and 1980s.

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I went to college in Florida where it rains on and off about every five minutes. It doesn’t matter what the weather app shows, rain is almost a certainty. It can be perfectly sunny as you’re walking out of the grocery store, but as you hit the exact mid-point between your car and the exit, a torrential downpour commences and only ceases once you’ve loaded up all your groceries and shut your car door. I can confidently say as a former (and brief) Floridian, the state has some of the most obnoxious weather.

What’s funny about weather is that we all interpret it differently. My wife is a Tampa native, and what I described earlier as a “torrential downpour” she might consider as just a “sprinkle.” She’s probably right (as she typically is), but it’s fair to ask ourselves when it comes to things like the weather, the economy, or how we define a recession, does it really matter what we call it?

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