Emotions are running high today. I get it. Mine are, frankly, stratospheric. I will probably find myself rather useless today.
This, however, is a blog about financial planning. What, then, should we do about our finances in response to this election?
You probably heard last night that the market was tanking (and that by this morning, it has mostly recovered). I saw a lot of lamentations and fear on social media last night about “What will happen to my 401(k)?”
Yes, it is more uncertain than usual what effect this change in administration will have on the economy, on jobs, on our social safety nets, on government policies and programs.
But this Grand American Experiment in Democracy and Capitalism is, I believe, bigger and stronger than a single election. Bigger and stronger (and more lumbering) than a single set of elected officials. Nothing will change overnight.
And more salient to your personal finances:
You can’t do anything to change this.
(Believe me, I would if I could.) Is that encouraging or depressing? I don’t know. As far as your finances are concerned, it doesn’t matter.
We need to act on what we can change, can control, what we know, not what we fear or guess.
Although I am speaking about our finances, it’s probably excellent advice for the rest of your life.
So, what can you control in your financial life?
- The size of your emergency fund. How long could you survive if you do lose your job?
- How much you’re saving towards retirement or other important goals like buying a home.
- Maintaining or improving your career skills. If you leave or lose your job, how attractive will you be to other employers?
- How much house you buy. Will those monthly payments mean you don’t have the flexibility to change jobs or save adequately for retirement?
- What’s in your investment portfolio. Is it matched to the goals you have and your attitudes towards risk? Is it unnecessarily lopsided towards a single stock, especially your own company’s stock?
Take control of those parts of your financial life. And you know what? I’m betting you’re going to be just fine.
Question: What part of your financial situation are you most anxious about? You can leave a comment below.
Do you need someone to hold the financial paper bag as you hyperventilate into it? Accountability, impartiality, and a steady hand are probably the most important things a financial advisor can provide. Reach out to me at or schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
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Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. I encourage you to consult a financial planner and/or an accountant for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Meg Bartelt, and all rights are reserved. Read the full Disclaimer.