As I am writing this my newest sister (hi Gracie, and thanks Corey for bringing her into our lives) is sitting in the next room over, doing her work, as my family is starting to trickle in for the holidays. Man do I love the holiday season. Something about it warms my little black heart. It is a time of reflection, family, travel, and to me almost ceremonial that you made it to the end of the year.
This year came with a lot of angst for almost everyone. Forget the normal ups and downs of life, which is to be expected. 2022 brought more political divide, and regardless of what side of the fence you root for, you were most likely disappointed. There was some historical drama in the Supreme court. Oh, and in case this is your first time looking (do not do it) the markets had well a pretty rough year.
You Freaking Made It!
That all said, guess what? You freaking made it! If someone is not in your corner patting you on the back and telling you how impressive that is, let me officially be the first one (pat, pat, rub, rub). Anyone can get through life when it is sunshine and rainbows. It is when the darkness and clouds set in that it takes real resolve and gumption to persevere through.
Now, let me break this into two distinctive and important components. First, I will walk through how I am thoroughly in awe and impressed by you, yes you reading this right this second. You see I find sometimes the hardest things in life, are also the simplest. For instance, this year was not a fun one for investors. The constant interest rate hikes and run-away inflation had a crushing effect on both stocks and bonds leaving virtually nowhere to hide.
Here is the silver lining that I know to the core of my being. If you are sitting here reading this at year-end, and did not panic sell, did not pull funds from the market, did not slow down your rate of buying into the market, kept living your life… YOU FREAKING MADE IT. You did the hard, but simple thing. I don’t know if it was one of my blogs that did it, one of my esteemed colleagues who talked you off the ledge, your spouse, or even Aunt Gladys. Regardless, you avoided maybe a life-changing catastrophic mistake and can breathe a sigh of relief that you freaking made it. I am very proud of you even if no one else mentions it.
Second, and equally important component about where we are and the fact you made it. Truly the worst is behind us. Now, I do not have a crystal ball and there certainly will be some choppiness ahead of us, but you have experienced the worst of it. You dealt with the pain and the loss in the markets. We are now in rebound and recovery mode. Consider the Band-Aid officially ripped off and time to let the recovery begin. This, much like any recovery, will come with setbacks and some pain. But all said and done we are on the road to recovery. Could things get worse before better? Sure. Do I personally think we are on an upward trend of things, honestly, I really do. Regardless, the initial shock and awe of everything have been felt. That is when people make the worse, knee-jerk decisions. If you are reading this and staying the course (spoiler alert) YOU FREAKING MADE IT!
So now what? Simple, but possibly still hard. You stay your course. If you have a well-thought-out plan, you have prepared for tough times. If you have a well-thought-out plan, you are in a position to get through these times. And if you have a well-thought-out plan, you know what is next… keep following your well-thought-out plan. You planned for this, you expected this, and you stuck to your guns which WILL help get you through whatever lies ahead.
Finally, to answer the “now what?” question I have one more piece of guidance for 2022 and the year ahead. It is not good enough that I am proud of you, you should be proud of yourself. Not only did you get through difficult times, not only did you do the hard but simple thing, and not only did you most likely prevent a tragedy to your finances, but it was you that did it no one else. That my friends is something to toast to and be unbashful about, so cheers to you!
Stay wealthy, healthy, and happy.
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