The July Fourth celebrations began on the Detroit River in late June and continued into the wee hours of the morning of July 5. As spectacular as the fireworks were and as much as many of my friends enjoyed them, I did not see them. My family and I have a different tradition.
We attend a parade in northern Michigan, replete with marching bands, military veterans, antique cars, plenty of fire trucks and, of course, politicians. It’s pretty much the same year in and year out, but we enjoy it nonetheless.
The festivities serve as a reminder to me how fortunate I am that my ancestors made the journey across the Atlantic. They worked incredibly hard and contributed to the building of this great nation. Our founding fathers built a solid foundation, but it’s up to each succeeding generation to carry the baton.
Every generation has faced its share of challenges, but somehow, someway each one perseveres and we plow forward and continue to flourish. Our history is full of outstanding achievements, but it also has many incidents we aren’t proud of; chapters we wish could be rewritten. But at the end of the day, America is one of the best places to live on the planet.
From an investor’s perspective, one of the requirements necessary for success is the ability to climb the so-called wall of worry. At times the investment world can appear quite bleak. Naturally, people prefer financial gains to financial pains.
In our current environment, I think the financial winds are shifting. Generally speaking, the economy is doing fairly well. But every day, more and more financial experts warn that the economy is beginning to slow down and inch closer to a recession.
What’s more, we’re on the brink of a trade war with China with the constant threat of more tariffs. Tensions are high with both Iran and North Korea. We have a serious crisis on our southern border. And it’s all happening while our nation is politically divided.
Clearly, the wall in front of us is significant. No wonder there is worry. No wonder investors need to maintain an iron stomach. That’s what uncertainty does.
People are uncomfortable when uncertainty is in their lives, especially when it affects their nest egg. But successful investors plow forward. They may fine-tune their financial roadmaps, but they don’t abandon long-term objectives.
Throughout our nation’s history there have been events that might make a person feel it’s not a good time to invest. Like wars, natural disasters and, even individual financial crises. All of them events with uncertain outcomes.
But successful investors find their way through the financial unknown. Anyone who is waiting for the opportune time to invest will seldom find it.
More often than not, people who wait for the perfect moment remain on the sidelines indefinitely. Even worse, they might jump in way too late.
If I’m not reading something related to finances, I’m reading American history. True, history may not be an indicator of the future, but it helps put into perspective the challenges we’re facing today.
Now that the fireworks are over and before you get on with your summer, review your investments. Make certain you’re comfortable with them in these uncertain times. Then start climbing.