Financial Planning in a Crisis: At Home

Echoes at Home…

It’s been another couple of weeks “at home” willing to do our part complying with the shelter-in-place order.  Then, on Tuesday we heard the decision to close all public schools for the remainder of the academic year.  Let me count… that’s another six weeks at home for the kids and an end to my son’s first year of school baseball before it ever really got started.  You likely have a very similar story.

To follow up my last post, with this extra time I’ve already been able to “learn things.”  Here are a few of them: I don’t read as much as I should, my prayer list is way too short, and we have become much too dependent on technology.  Therefore, it was a nice surprise yesterday when my daughter received – get ready for this – a hand-written note from a friend across town.  She immediately wrote her back.  Sure, there’s technology they use to get online and see each other in a much faster and “easier” way.  But it was fun to see them communicate the way we used to when I was a child – one that, dare I say, took a little more effort.

We’ve also seen other changes.  It’s been nice talking with neighbors we seldom, if at all, talked to before this pandemic.  I’ve seen the opportunity cost associated with failing to read more.  But I’m not blind to the fact that these things take time – as does prayer, or anything else worthwhile.  Given these extra-long days at home let me encourage you to “take inventory” and, perhaps, even reshuffle priorities.

In doing this myself I also came across some good advice that I wanted to share.  Each quote was like an echo from the past that helped take away any lingering emotions.  If we are honest, staying objective can be a difficult task, especially when making investment decisions.  So, while you are also “at home” maybe these timely quotes from Sir John Templeton will help you:

Sir John Templeton
  • If you begin with a prayer, you can think more clearly and make fewer mistakes.
  • An investor who has all the answers doesn’t even understand all the questions.
  • Don’t panic. The time to sell is before the crash, not after.
  • The only way to avoid mistakes is not to invest—which is the biggest mistake of all.
  • The investor who says, “This time is different,” when in fact it’s virtually a repeat of an earlier situation, has uttered among the four most costly words in the annals of investing.
  • If you do not know what you want to achieve with your life, you may not achieve much.
  • The best investment with the least risk and the greatest dividend is giving.