One of the most interesting things about the financial services industry is that we get to interact with a diverse group of individuals. That might be the case with many businesses, but here at Pathfinder, we often get into the intimate details of someone’s life to uncover their values, beliefs, and perspectives on money. As you might expect, talking about money can be a very emotional experience. In many cases, someone’s political stance – especially if there are strong feelings one way or the other – will come out during this process. This becomes even more apparent during periods of market volatility or economic uncertainty. Afterall, it’s human nature to try and find the root cause of our circumstances, and in many cases, this leads us into pointing blame at the party (no pun intended) whom we think is responsible. In a political sense, we hear it from both sides.
At Pathfinder, we’re agnostic to the political chatter, and here’s why. First, we work for our clients. It’s not about us; it’s about them. There’s a famous quote that we often use in the office, “a man (or woman) convinced against their will, is of the same opinion still.” We don’t need to have the same belief system to be able to effectively help someone build a financial plan with strategies that fit their unique situation and that’s realistic for their circumstances.
Second, and more importantly, political parties do not control the markets nor the economy. Believe it or not, a political party or sitting president does not have much influence on the economy or the markets. If you don’t believe me, take a look at a long-term graph of the S&P 500 stock index (or virtually any economic indicator), and you’ll quickly find that there is no real correlation between political party (or president) and the stock market.
That’s one of the beauties of democracy and our two-party system: every political party would like to have full control, but in truth, they don’t. There’s always pushback. The checks and balances are always there to keep anything extreme from getting through. It will always be in the best interest of political parties to exaggerate their power to motivate their supporters, but the important thing to remember is that in our governmental structure, no one has absolute power, and they never will.
Since politics don’t control the stock market or the economy, who (or what) does? The answer is simple: the people. You, as consumers and business owners. For the working folks, you get up every day and go to work. At work, you produce a good or provide a service. In exchange for that work, you are paid dollars. You take those dollars to buy things, the very things that your peers are producing or providing. It’s a constant cycle. As long as that continues, we’ll be okay. Sure, we’ll experience ups and downs, just like we always have. We’ll go through expansionary times and recessionary times; but the key lies in the hearts of consumers, businesses, and everyday Americans. There is a resilience in the American people – whether on the consumer side or the business side – that has shown through in every shift in political party or economic downturn.
In our office, we encourage our clients to turn off the financial media (we call it “financial pornography”) and focus their time and energy on the things that matter most, and the things that they can control. It’s okay to be passionate about your political beliefs, but they shouldn’t guide your investment decisions. Leave that to us. As fiduciaries, your best interest is at the core of every decision we make. You can learn more about how we utilize our investment strategies for your long-term success at our website, or you can give us a call at 910-793-0616. We are here to guide you forward.
Advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Emma Dill - Dec 4, 2023
Staff Reports - Dec 4, 2023
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