Amid a calamitous year (and then some) marked with historic civil unrest, a full-blown pandemic and a whiplashed economy, we could all use some words of encouragement. And to whom shall we turn for those prized pearls of wisdom? Might we suggest financial advisors. These money-minded folks are able to see the state of the economy in a way that the average American doesn’t always get to see — unless they’re hiring them or their services. They bring a detached, big-picture perspective to financial affairs, understanding situations not only according to how they feel in the short term, but what they mean in the long term.
Just as people lean on mentors in their respective fields, financial advisors look to successful people in their industry for guidance and perseverance. GOBankingRates consulted 11 different money experts to learn: What quotes spoken by great financial thinkers do they turn to in these times of trouble? How can these words of wisdom help out the average American right now, no matter their money situation?
“The only way you will ever permanently take control of your financial life is to dig deep and fix the root problem. If you’re not staying on top of your money, you are putting your financial well-being at risk.”
Ebony J. Howard, CPA, a financial expert for RetireGuide.com, loves how this quote “establishes how to maintain financial security.” She added that this bit of Suze Orman’s wisdom is essential to help folks become adequately prepared for any crisis that may arise during COVID-19. “Ensuring that you have built an emergency savings fund to cover at least six months’ worth of expenses is the key to stay afloat — while focusing on keeping spending habits under control, lowering debts and only the necessities.”
“Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”
Warren Buffett wrote these prescient words in The New York Times op-ed in 2008 during the Great Recession. Now, in the bellows of the COVID-19 recession, these words ring true again to Asher Rogovy, chief investment officer at Magnifina.
“The pandemic is certainly the biggest economic event which has occurred for many years [and] there was a violent market reaction in March and April, but many analysts predict that by this time next year, it will no longer be affecting the stock market,” Rogovy said. “This is Buffett’s wisdom: to invest with a very very long-term horizon. He is the master at putting aside emotions and focusing strictly on the numbers. According to our research, only 30% of bear markets since 1950 have lasted more than three and a half years. The most recent one didn’t even last three quarters.”
“I know many members of our community steer clear of Wall Street because of the perception that the stock market is risky, but I am convinced the biggest risk of all is not taking one.”
Tremaine Wills, investment advisor at Mind Over Money, holds dear this quote from Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments. “As a new advisor working to close the wealth gap, this message resonates deeply with me,” Wills said. “Fear of risk cripples many clients into not taking action which can seal in the fate of perpetual financial stress.”
As this pandemic rages on, making any financial moves might feel extra perilous, but try to consider the risk from a place of abundance rather than of fear.
“Creating opportunities means looking where others are not.”
“The ability to take a contrarian view as an investor and take advantage of others’ herd mentality can often lead to great outcomes for your portfolio if done using a systematic and strategic approach,” Tanenbaum said. “Investing in out-of-favor sectors and asset classes when others are shunning them can provide opportunities to create long-term value. This allows the strategic investor to take advantage of short term emotionally-fueled market dislocations. Specifically, setting an allocation objective and sticking to it over time is key, which allows for rebalancing over time as the portfolio moves away from its original target allocation. In other words, buying more stocks as prices fall and selling them as prices rise.”
With the stock market on a rollercoaster during this pandemic, it’s worthwhile to heed this advice and take advantage of some of those sliding share prices.
“Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.”
“The pandemic is real and not going away anytime soon,” Rose said. “Most people are in a ‘hold their breath’ approach — hoping that their job remains secure, or a new job is just around the corner and their savings won’t run out. They aren’t looking to change the way they live, but that’s not the right approach to take: It’s time to be proactive and cut your spending vigilantly, find ways to start making money (like driving for InstaCart or delivering for Amazon) to boost those savings, and find ways to cut current debt, like refinancing student loans and curbing spending habits.”
“If you want to be an outlier in achievement, just sit on your a** and read most of your life.”
This tough love quote from Warren Buffett’s right-hand man Charlie Munger speaks to Sammy Azzouz, JD, CFP, president of Heritage Financial and author of The Boston Advisor blog. It highlights the importance of financial literacy and underscores that curiosity and education are key to smart money moves.
“2020 has brought us a lot of things we never would have wanted, but one positive is the ability for people to read more about things they’ve always wanted to learn, like how to improve their personal finances or to pursue the next leg of their careers,” Azzouz said.
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“Money is a resource. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s not evil, it’s just a resource.”
Tracy Shen, holistic wealth advisor, managing partner at Florin Group, is endeared to this quote from personal finance expert and journalist Farnoosh Torabi because it instructs us to see money without any drama and to regard it in a more simple and detached way.
“This helps some of our clients since they have anxiety with money,” Shen said. “So we teach them to build a positive relationship with money by finding out their money beliefs.”
If you find yourself worrying about money right now, take a deep breath and a step back. Ask yourself whether you think of money as “good” or “evil” and then focus on letting go of those associations so as to regain perspective and hopefully, feel a little less stressed.
“In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.”
This witty insight from Benjamin Graham, known as “the father of value investing,” appeals to Richard Best, a writer for DontPayFull who has over 30 years of experience in financial services. He likes it because it underscores the importance of not letting emotions rule your actions.
“Graham and many of the other legendary investors believe investing without a solid investment plan, or the patience and discipline to stick with one, can leave a person vulnerable to [their] emotions, which invariably leads to disastrous results,” Best said. “Emotions are what make investors do things they later regret, such as fleeing the market after a steep decline or buying at the peak of market euphoria — both of which can have a devastating impact on their long-term investment performance.”
In these pandemic-ridden times, the air is charged with fear and anguish. Feel your feelings, but don’t let them sneak into your financial decision-making.
“Invest in what you know.”
“[It means] take advantage of your specialized, local knowledge of a product, service, or company to identify opportunities before they become more widely known,” Rosen said. “Research them further and then invest in them if they seem like a well-run, viable business. Granted, he said it before the internet and a Google search was common, and when active management was king, but it still holds true today. Most successful products and services get their initial momentum through word of mouth, so when you see a product or service which seems to provide a strong value, it’s worth looking into further to see if they would be a good investment opportunity.”
Again, investing during a struggling economy can feel weird or even frightening — but don’t let anxiety stop you from doing your homework; after all, even now people are still becoming billionaires for the first time.
“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
“Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve urged Americans to hold onto what they have and pay off debt where they can,” Dvorkin said. “Most people were wise, and credit card spending came to a halt in the second quarter. Many financial intuitions foresee a slow and hard recovery, but there is still time for people to reassess their recession savings plan. It’s best for most people not to continue their spending as normal, and this holiday season, I’m begging people to keep in mind: the worst is not yet over.“
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”
This quote from entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn inspires Anthony Appleton-Tattersall, CA, MBA, director of AAT Accounting Services, who finds that it carries special meaning during the pandemic.
“During Covid, many people have found out just how much their time is worth,” Appleton-Tattersall said. “Money is still important of course, but so many are considering switching or downshifting career moves that should have been front of mind years ago.”
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