My husband Nick and I just celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary! It feels like just yesterday that I was writing a blog about wedding planning. It’s been a wonderful year (thanks for all the well wishes), and I wanted to share some insight into our discussions about money and investing.
We opened a joint investment account shortly after the wedding and started investing for our future. Well, we can always plan and dream for the decades ahead, but as a financial advisor, I see the markets go up and down daily. And unfortunately, in 2022 they have been more down than up.
Nick began expressing his concerns about whether stocks were really the best place for our money. As the markets kept dipping, I started wondering if he was right. Our firm strongly believes in long-term investing and staying disciplined throughout both good markets and bad. But still, I knew I had to do some research and convince not only my husband, but myself, that the markets were not going to fail me.
What I found was that in almost 100 years of stock market history, the U.S. has faced more than 30 bear markets, and they’ve all ended the same way - with a full recovery and a march on to new highs. Sure, bear markets have occurred for a variety of reasons, but we have recovered from every single one. Not only that, but the length of bear markets, on average, is significantly shorter than bull markets.
I shared this with Nick, and he agreed that the information was compelling. But he also suggested that we just pull out our money and reinvest at the end of the year – after all, the mid-term elections were coming up, and there was little clarity on when inflation might calm down. "I’m not so sure about that strategy", I replied. "We'd have to know when to get out and when to get back in. We’d need to be right twice! That’s tough to do. And in the meantime, we might miss days in between where the stock market rallies."
“So, what’s the plan?” he asked.
“We sit tight and let the market do it’s thing. We focus on what we can control.”
As I received “Happy Anniversary” wishes, it was funny how many people mentioned that “the first year is always the hardest!” Reflecting on the year, I thought, you know what, they may be right. It was a year of getting to know each other’s habits, figuring out how to share holidays, and getting used to being around each other ALL THE TIME (which of course, Nick, I love!).
However, I also thought about how we handled those situations – working through them, compromising, and finding resolutions. The first year of marriage isn’t very different from the stock market – the good times are great, but it’s what you do in the down times that matters. And, most of all, you just stick with it.
Rhea Ravindran, CFP®
Rhea is a Financial Advisor at Rappaport Reiches Capital Management. Please connect with her below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and her favorite movies.