It has been said that boats are safe in the harbor, but boats weren’t made for the harbor. I love sailing and I recently read a book by Jessica Watson, the 16-year-old Australian who sailed her 34-foot yacht nonstop and single-handedly around the world. Her story is one of amazing preparation and courage. Though I sail a larger 41-foot boat I prefer to sail safely within sight of land and in good weather. Jessica fought 40-foot seas and gale force winds in the dangerous southern oceans, often in the dark of night. On several occasions her little boat was knocked down and at one point, was completely upside down. When asked how she faced such frightening situations she responded with “I learned at sea that there are very, very few situations that can’t be turned around and made more positive and less threatening by just looking at things in a different way… there was no point in wasting a single minute of my time feeling miserable.”
I have heard many complaints about 2020 but as I look at my own life and those around me, much good was accomplished during that year. For many investors, the year brought amazing opportunities and much growth. As we head into 2021 half of America is happy and half is discouraged over the election. And yet all of America has much to be thankful for. We have survived yet another year and come out better than we started. I believe 2021 will be the same. If we can learn to look at those crashing waves and fierce winds of change in a different way, we may find they aren’t so bad after all. Rather than viewing our regular election cycles as moments of winning and losing, let’s try instead to see them as opportunities and not spend “one minute feeling miserable” about it.
Jessica Watson experienced many dangerous storms, but she also tells of beautiful seas and unimaginable sunsets that few have experienced. She spent 210 days alone at sea, the majority of which were in lovely weather. Her story reminded me that there is danger in all areas of life, but those who are guided by fear are never able to enjoy the beautiful opportunities. Half of America complains when the political pendulum swings, forgetting that unchanging political environments are the things oppressive dictatorships are made of. Investors also complain about change, forgetting that stable and unchanging investments (like bank CD’s) are what historically low rates of return are made of. I much prefer the opportunities the changing seas of investing offer. It just requires us to look at things a little differently.
If you let the political winds govern your happiness or your optimism for the future, then you will miss out on many beautiful sunsets. You will overlook the amazing opportunities that lie in the political plans of the incoming administration. Investors should take a lesson from a 16-year-old sailor and prepare well, then invest with courage. Do not waste a minute of this opportunity.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 375 E Riverside Dr, St. George, UT 84790
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