January 2020

Some Investing Resolutions for the New Year

One of the things for which we are grateful in the year past is the performance of the stock market. Virtually all the indices posted records, and the Standard & Poor's 500 saw its best year since 2013. That is good news for investors large and small.

Still, there were periods during the year when investors were nervous and that positive outlook seemed unlikely. In August, for example, the market dropped 800 points in one day, leaving investors spooked and prompting talk of a coming recession.

We don't know how the market will perform in 2020, of course. But there are some things we can do every day to help protect ourselves against market uncertainly and to proactively look after our financial well-being. Consider these financial resolutions for 2020:

    1. Find an advisor you trust, and then listen to him or her. For readers who have honored me by choosing me as their advisor, thank you. One of my resolutions for the coming year is to continue to strengthen my relationships with my clients, to explain why I recommend that you take certain actions or don't take other actions, and always to remember that it is your money and your specific needs and concerns that should be directing the show.
    2. Listen to yourself. You know what your hopes, dreams and goals are. You know when financial worries are keeping you up at night. Talk about your concerns with your advisor, and listen to what the advisor says. But don’t forget to trust yourself, too. In the final analysis, it is your money and your future.
    3. Listen less to the media chatter. There are two main ways of looking at market movement: long-term and short-term. At Peachtree Investment Partners, we believe strongly that a long-term approach is better for most investors. History consistently shows us that most investors who try to time the market end up getting out of the market and getting back in at the wrong times. Certainly there are indicators that suggest what the market might do under certain circumstances. But indicators are not guarantees. You want your portfolio to grow at a rate that lets you meet your goals and still sleep at night. Always remember that while some people might be getting slightly better percentage returns than you are, other people probably are getting returns that are much worse.
    4. Look for ways to increase your contributions to your portfolio. Right after the holidays, many people resolve to be more frugal, although few people manage to follow through fully on that resolution. But if you do find some extra money in your budget, consider adding it to your portfolio. That immediately increases the value of your portfolio, of course. But it also increases the basis on which the portfolio will continue to grow -- which is even more significant.
    5. Vote. The actions of government can have a significant effect on the economy and the markets, and 2020 is an election year. We live in a democratic republic, and the right to vote is central to the freedoms for which our Founders pledged "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." I am not suggesting how you should vote. I am just urging you to take part in the process. Democracy depends on it.

Finally, we at Peachtree Investment Partners would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year, and peace and happiness in 2020!


Garry K. Schaefer
Atlanta, Georgia
January 14, 2020

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