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The Elusive Crystal Ball
July 2018

Jul 30, 2018 | Business Owners | Families | Today's Professionals

“I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but…” is a prelude we hear frequently.

It’s true. We don’t have a crystal ball. Our jobs would be a lot easier if we did. Illuminating the “right path” to help you build a fulfilling life would be a matter of looking into our crystal ball to find out:

  • The impact of current policy on economic growth prospects domestically and abroad;
  • The future returns in each individual asset class and fund over various time periods;
  • Your actual date of death;
  • What level of health you will enjoy in your years before death;
  • And much, much more.

With such information, we would be able to draw a map as clear as an amusement park’s that would allow you to traverse through your years enjoying the sights and sounds, stopping at first aid as needed without a thought to cost, and eating funnel cakes to your hearts’ content.

Alas, we have yet to find the crystal ball that gives us such a flawless depiction of the future that we can eliminate all uncertainty for you.

While we wait for the crystal ball to grow, what can we do?

  • Get really clear on where you are now.

What assets and liabilities comprise your current financial landscape? What are your actual incomes and expenses, and how are those likely or able to change if necessary?

  • Get a sense of what you would like your life to look like in the future.

What parts of your life are working for you, and what parts would you rather change? What brings you fulfillment? What do you value above all else? What are your desires?

  • Frame your desired future into achievable goals.

Given what we know about where you are and where you would like to be, what are reasonable outcomes that you could pursue?

  • Understand what is controllable and what is not.

We cannot control world events, economic downturns, or health emergencies. But we can control portfolio allocation, our response to volatility, and what we are doing to stay well.

  • Be mindful of various risks and approaches for mitigation.

Your outcomes will almost certainly differ from our projections. Appropriate risk management, including insurance, diversification, and living your plan, may help to limit downside risk.

One way to handle the anxiety that comes with uncertainty about the future is to get grounded in certainty. An accurate prediction of the future through a crystal ball is one (impossible) way to find clarity. The suggestions above offer a more attainable approach to melting the fears that comes with uncertainty.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Pathway Financial Advisors, LLC-“Pathway”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Pathway.  Please remember that if you are a Pathway client, it remains your responsibility to advise Pathway, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Pathway is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Pathway’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: Pathway does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Pathway’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.