If practice makes perfect, I am in need of some practice. It’s been nearly a month since my last post, and I’m feeling rusty. My brain is firing on all cylinders, but my fingers haven’t been pounding out much in the way of words. I think I need to go down to Florida next month with pitchers and catchers and loosen up the arm and fingers.
A lot has been going on at Clearfront Advisory over the past month. We moved office locations to awesome new space on the Upper West Side, and we hired a new client relationship manager, Zach Scott.
If I have said it once, I’ll say a hundred times more: weather forecasters are as useless as stock market and interest rate forecasters. Here in New York City we just experienced the most overhyped weather forecast in memory. For days the media had been hyping the blizzard, Juno, as the worst to come in a century. Supermarket shelves were cleaned out; Fairway Market ran out of toilet paper! Friends and colleagues were calling in from Chicago and the UK to check in. As you know, the city ended up with less than 8 inches of snow; New Jersey had 3 inches. The mightiest blizzard to hit New York City in a century was a dud.
You can’t control the weather, and you can’t control the stock market. If the forecast is for rain, bring an umbrella. You don’t need a boat or to lock yourself in the basement with canned food and enough batteries for a lifetime. The same logic holds true for your portfolio: be prepared for good and bad times, diversify, and when things get too good or too bad, rebalance or reallocate.
Growing up, a tennis coach once told me: never get too high or too low during a match; keep your emotions in check and play your game. With respect to the weather and investing, the media will make you too high or too low and play with your emotions or whatever the part of your brain is attracted to that stuff. Most of the time the thing to do is tune it out, turn it off, and stick with your plan. Live your life.
Speaking of which, starting a blog has been a wonderful experience. I look forward in 2015 to writing more and more often. Writing has really allowed me to entertain and explore a lot of thoughts and ideas. I understand why in creative writing they teach you to keep a journal. It’s cheap therapy. Truthfully, I love the feedback, especially the positive kind. It is really gratifying when people tell you they love to read your blog. Feed the ego!
Blogging has its own drug, Google Analytics. Google Analytics tells you how many people read your blog, when they read it, and what part of the world they live in. Someone in Eastern Europe reads my blog! According to Google, my most popular post last year was, “You Complete Me,” http://clearfront.blogspot.com/2014/09/you-complete-me.html.
It was one of my favorites as well. In it, à la Jerry Maguire, I laid out my manifesto for all of you to read. After all, you should know what your financial advisor is all about. For that matter, you should know what anyone who is dishing out advice is all about. If you would like to reread it, feel free to click the link, or pass it along to a friend or family member.