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How do I remain calm and ride out the storm during these challenging times?

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The world is currently dark and gloomy. As if the pandemic is not enough, there is the uncertainty of war and soaring inflation pushing up the cost of living to ridiculous levels. We have also seen great turbulence in the markets. With the current uncertainty, you may be tempted to make a rash decision regarding your investments and money matters.

So, with the current uncertainty, how do you remain calm and ride out the storm during these challenging times?

I am so glad you asked.

It is easy to worry and get stressed when you look at the unprecedented events that are wreaking havoc in our world at present. I want to challenge you not to panic at this time, but rather…

  • Look to God,
  • Keep calm, and
  • Stick to your long-term plan.

When it comes to your investments, it is important to set some funds aside for your short-term emergencies. Still, it is equally important to invest part over the long term to generate growth in your wealth portfolio to fund your future dreams and objectives. In order to grow your money in real terms and protect yourself from the debilitating effect of inflation, you need to invest part of your wealth in the market. However, growth investments do go through market shocks, like we are experiencing at the moment, but they usually bounce back relatively quickly once the storm passes.

Markets will continue to go through ups and downs, but it is important during these volatile and uncertain times to remain calm and wait for the markets to correct. History shows that investors who remain calm and stick to the long-term plan, even when markets are extremely volatile and unpredictable over the short term, usually reap the rewards once the storm passes.

I would strongly urge you not to make panic short-term decisions and pull your growth investments out of the market when it is down. If you do, you will only be locking in permanent losses as it is very challenging to time the markets.

Yes, the current market is uncertain and can lead you to make irrational decisions. I want to encourage you to focus on the long term, and where markets will be in a few years’ time, not what will happen next week.

So today, I want to highlight a few key investment principles that can help you to remain calm in the middle of any crisis…

1. Don’t panic. A sound financial plan helps build confidence regardless of what the market is doing

Your financial plan should be tailored to your particular financial needs and risk profile. It should include your goals, and current financial position and make adequate provisions for the future.

It’s important to review it regularly with the help of a financial adviser.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”(Isaiah 41:10)

2. A diversified portfolio will help to manage your risk

A sound financial plan includes a balanced portfolio of investments with shares, bonds, cash, and property, invested in both local and international markets.

“Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. 2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2)

3. Always consider your investments as a whole

In any diversified portfolio, there will always be times when one asset class outperforms another.

Property may go up as shares come down. International investments may prosper when local markets fall. It’s the total return over the longer term that matters.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”(Proverbs 3:5-6)

4. It’s time in the market that counts, not timing the market

No one knows with certainty when markets will rise or fall. Trying to time the market is not only stressful, but it is also very seldom successful. It is far better to use time to your advantage.

The sooner you start investing, and the longer you invest, the more likely you are to make a handsome return – regardless of the ups and downs along the way

“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”(Proverbs 21:20)

5. Over the long-term cash is unlikely to deliver the returns needed to outpace inflation

Investing in cash may seem like a safe bet, especially when markets are volatile. But it comes at the price of lower long-term returns.

Every investor needs at least some part of their funds in liquid investments in case of an emergency. And for some investors, a larger cash holding may be appropriate.

6. By investing regularly over the longer term, you generally get the best return

Research has proven that investors tend to join late in a rising share market, and then achieve disappointing results when the market falls. By contrast, when the market falls, investors stay out of the market, which means very few people are still buying at the market’s lowest levels.

If you are in the market with the aim of building your long-term wealth, it is better to disregard short-term performance fluctuations and focus on your long-term goals.

The wise investor continues to invest through dips in the market, knowing that the cheaper shares become, the greater the potential gain when the market recovers.

7. Invest with a partner experienced in managing different market conditions

There are many reputable financial services companies that can help you to manage your investments.

Make use of well-established companies that have a proven track record that have the tools, the experience, and the people to help you structure your investments to match your needs and goals.

8. Each investor’s solution is unique

Everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. The right answer for your neighbor might not be the right one for you.

Financial advisers are trained to help you to think about what you want to achieve, and the best possible way to achieve it. They are here to provide you with an objective view.

So, get advice on how to best construct your portfolio to help you take care of your short-term needs and that can help you achieve your long-term goals and dreams.   

Lastly, I need to add…

Do not forget to invite God to be your CEO. He has your best interests at heart. He wants to see you prosper. And, He wants to walk your life journey with you.

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”(Deuteronomy 8:18)

God can do anything. He can make a way. He is in control. He is the God of peace and He wants to be your source, so seek him in the middle of the storm.

“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”(Psalm 32:8)

God promises to guide you on the BEST PATHWAY for your life, so wait on God. He wants to advise you and He is watching over you.

In summary…

  • Look to God,
  • Keep calm, and
  • Stick to your long-term plan.

Interesting Fact:

G. Brian Davis, in an article titled “Facts About Stock Market Corrections to Quell Your Fears”, writes…

When Stock Storms End, the Sun Shines Brighter Than Usual:

Once the Global Financial crisis hit rock bottom in early 2008, the S&P 500 grew by 69%. That isn’t an anomaly. Following the three previous bear markets, the index averaged 32% growth in the following year.

The best returns often happen in the first month or two after the market hits rock bottom.

That’s the thing about standing on the sidelines: By the time you “wait and see” and are confident that the recovery is underway, you’ve already missed much of it.

So, if you are invested in the market and are considering cashing in your investment during the downturn, I want to encourage you to be patient and keep calm. The sun will come out again after the storm.

Power Quotes of the Week:

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” — Mark Twain

Don’t focus on your fears. Most of them will not even materialize. Rather trust in God.

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

What does God have to say:

The world is currently a scary place, but you can choose to surrender your life and fears to God.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.” (Psalm 46 1-2)

Yes, we will face storms in life. Jesus told us that we would face tough times.

“In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33a)

But Jesus didn’t stop there. He went on and said…

“But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)

I want to encourage you to not put your hope in money. Rather put your hope in God.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

If Jesus is your Lord and Saviour you can rest in Him, knowing that He is your helper and that He will never abandon you. Isn’t it amazing to think that God wants to walk the journey with you?

God saw that man was separated from Him, so He even sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for you and me on the cross, so that we can come into a relationship with Him. You have the opportunity to start a walk with God, not because of what you do, but because of what Jesus did. This relationship ensures that you and I do not need to face life alone, and this relationship continues into eternity.

Do you know Jesus as your Saviour? If not, invite Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour.    

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)

Don’t live in fear and dread. Life consists of more than money and material things. Put your life in the hands of God. Invite Jesus to be your Savior. Surrender your life to God. Give Him your burdens and concerns. You can take refuge in Him.

Let’s Pray:

Father, while the world is in turmoil, I thank you that you are still on the Throne. I ask you to be my Savior. Thank you for the price you paid on the cross for me so that I can be set free and live under the shelter of your protection, not only during my temporary life on earth but right into eternity. Thank you for the joy and peace I can have in you. Please protect me and my family from the storms and plagues that are hitting the world. Today I put my life in your hands and thank you that you are My God, My place of safety, My protector, and My provider. Lord, we pray for peace and healing in our fragile world and we ask that you bring revival and breakthrough in my life, in my family, and throughout the world. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Conclusion:

I encourage you to be strong and courageous. Don’t panic. Rather surrender your fears to God. It is not a time to live in fear. It is a time to put your faith in God. He is your place of safety, and He has your back.

And when it comes to your investments, keep calm. Stick to your long-term plan. This storm will pass, and the sun will shine again.

God bless you.

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