“If you break it, you buy it.”
-Traditional Retail Warning.
It seems like a long time since things have gone well. Dot Com Crash, The Great Recession, Income Inequality, Social and Racial Strife, 9/11, Terrorism, Afghanistan, Iraq, WMD’s, Bin Laden, The Surge, North Korea, Benghazi, Leading From Behind, Strategic Patience, MOAB, Affordable Care, Affordable Care Repeal, the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Hillary’s E-mails, Trump’s Taxes, the Russians, Iran, Syria, Islamic State- I can go on and on, but you get the point. How about that 21st century.
“It’s a big old goofy world.”
Last week my grandson Beau was born. I also saw the great American singer/songwriter John Prine in concert. He performed one of his oldies but goodies- It’s a Big Old Goofy World. It is! Beau is entering this world at a time when things seem out of control. Terrorism, wars, economic and political strife, social unrest and just simple ugliness all seem to be the order of the day. I couldn’t be happier, though, to have Beau.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King made a difference. We are better because of his courage, integrity and vision. A vision he never lost sight of regardless of adversity. It was accomplishment of the goal that mattered, not the tough times. He persevered, though never seeing the whole staircase. Dr. King’s unwavering pursuit of his goal – justice and equality – cost him his life. America has a long way to go, but his bravery made us better.
“If nominated I will not run,
If elected, I will not serve.”
-William Tecumseh Sherman
William Tecumseh Sherman was a renowned/notorious Union general during the Civil War. Feelings about him all depend on which side you were on. The same differing feelings have resulted from our recent election. News people are already asking Vice President Biden about his plans for 2020. To borrow some texting shorthand- OMG!
“Elections Have Consequences.”
Wow. Unbelievable. Shocking. Extraordinary. Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. Many are thrilled. Others are terrified. Prudent Retiree believes it is critical to remember that business and the markets carry on. Due to uncertainty, there may be volatility. This is not, however, a harbinger of economic chaos.
“In the long run, we’re all dead.”
-John Maynard Keynes
So called Keynesian economic theory is a major driver of government policy. The basic premise is that a stagnant economy can be stimulated by increased spending and debt. Our politicians love that part of the equation. According to Keynes, this explosion of spending will stimulate the “animal spirits” of business, grow the economy and reduce the spending. As we know, our politicians seem to always forget that part. They never reduce the spending. The debate rages on about the deficit and debt. Will our fiscal edifice all come tumbling down?
“A difference in opinion is what makes a horse race.”
Samuel Clemens, who wrote as Mark Twain, was one of our great authors and a keen observer of our behavior and foibles. He could certainly have been discussing the 2016 presidential election. Many of you have asked- “Is this the best we can do?” Maybe, maybe not, but these are the choices we have.
“Your best teacher is your last mistake.”
Ralph Nader is a controversial consumer advocate whose efforts have brought about change. He was the Green Party candidate for president in 2000. Many speculate that votes he won in Florida enabled George W. Bush to win that state and the presidency.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
We all know Steve jobs, the visionary who guided Apple and developed so many products that make our lives easier. Jobs and Apple had rough patches but stayed with a plan. Now, he did not make this statement about investments, but the logic applies. We can’t see into the future. We can look backwards, connect the dots and see how being consistent can be beneficial to retirement.