Well it certainly has been an interesting year for most of us. I remember this time last year most, including myself, were saying good riddance to 2020, bring on 2021. I guess sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for!
I’m not the psychologist in the family, I’ll leave that for Zoe who has just finished second year at Uni. Albeit given covid, it has certainly been a different “education” that she and her cohort are experiencing to the one I had. Unfortunately though that’s the theme of the last two years, it hasn’t been what we’ve wanted and that will more than likely continue on into next year.
I know the end of the year is a time when a lot of us reflect on what has been, or ponder what might be, but unfortunately we tend to spend more time on the negatives than the positives. Yes there are plenty of negatives we can focus on, but in reality that doesn’t really get us anywhere, so I always try and look at the positives, or at least find a solution for the negatives.
Let me run through a few issues that tend to pop up around this time of the year and pose a few thoughts which might help;
Extended families often catch up over the Christmas holidays for the first time in a while and it’s a time when we get more enquiry about helping the older generation transition into aged care. This isn’t an easy conversation and no one looks forward to it, but it’s one that needs to be faced…………be proactive and make decisions, or they’ll be made for you.
It’s also a time when many take stock and consider their future, with topics such as retirement, starting a family and buying a home being popular ones. Once again, take control, set some goals, seek assistance if need be………….but most importantly act. The best time to start working on a goal is today.
Sharemarkets and property prices……..these things are largely beyond our control, however what we can do is control the position we’re in to handle them. Don’t be greedy, don’t panic, don’t get caught up in the current FOMO euphoria.
Interest rates, similar to the above, we can’t control them, but we can control our exposure. Don’t over commit, look at fixed rates, don’t capitalize consumerables (ie. holidays, electrical goods, etc) just because you have equity in your house.
Uncertainty; well the good thing about uncertainty is the longer we face it, the more comfortable we begin to feel about it. Whether it’s covid, markets, interest rates, ageing, none of it is going away, hence try and find your own level of comfort in being uncomfortable.
I’m a glass half full kind of guy and tend not to sweat the small stuff (my brain doesn’t have room for it!). I also don’t worry about things I can’t control, but I know that’s not easy for everyone. My parents used to have the following poem in their office and while I was a bit young initially to understand it, I think it must have finally sunk in at some stage. It’s one of my favourites;
There has been some debate about who wrote the Serenity Prayer, but I’m crediting Reinhold Niebuhr
I hope your Christmas reality lives up to your expectations. Whether that’s time with family & friends, a nice break to unwind, or even an opportunity to finally trade your way out of a difficult year. God bless, be safe and I hope 2022 is a prosperous year for all……….whatever that may mean for you.
Robert de Lepervanche