Your Blue Rock Newsletter: A Tale of Two MarketsSubmitted by Blue Rock Wealth Management on September 13th, 2016
If you read the Wall Street Journal, you'll see banner ads running across the top like a lot of websites. Normally, it's easy to ignore those but two popped up nearly back to back with such contradictory predictions that even the most hardened on line news connoisseur couldn't resist clicking on them. Here is how the first ad read:
DOW TO DROP 80% IN 2016
80% Stock Market Crash to Strike in 2016. Economist Warns.
Clicking on this ad takes you to a website and an article that provides all of the supporting reasons why our markets will basically get obliterated. They point to the amount of indebtedness of our US government and hint at vast conspiracies. After reading this article, back on the WSJ site, the next banner ad appeared with this title:
Stocks are on the cusp of a historic surge. Astounding.
The real astounding truth is that both ads take you to the same website. Different articles, of course, with carefully selected data to support two completely opposite claims. Clearly the ads are written with sensational claims designed to draw you to their site where possibly they will happily sell you access to premium content like newsletters and books.
In this case, it's fairly easy to identify the motive but often times we forget that media is designed in a way to attract your attention. To pierce through a noisy, crowded world, their messages are often sensational and usually negative. Our brains have evolved to scan for environmental danger making it hard to turn a deaf ear to such claims. During volatile times, these voices may seem louder. Our market outlook at Blue Rock Wealth Management is much less exciting. It's one with continued low interest rates and more typical returns on stocks, neither obliterated nor surging.
What we must remind ourselves is that market ups and downs are normal though the news outlet may make it seem epic. Often, the most dangerous things sneak up on us. They are things like inflation eating away at our portfolio that holds too much cash. It's the taxes that you pay when you could have put more in that 401(k) or IRA. It's failing to buy enough insurance or not naming a beneficiary on our retirement accounts. These are things that are hard for the untrained eye to see.
When you are tempted to make an emotional decision, take a deep breath and consider the source of your information. Make sure to talk to your advisor as emotional decisions are rarely the best and the decisions you make today affect the choices you have in the future.