Does the Stock Market Direction Match Your Mood Swings? 

This Week’s Ups and Downs but mostly Downs, have many people struck in terror. First of all, as of this writing, the stock market is down 2% for today. Yes, you may say but what about the week? While let’s look at the long-term picture for a better perspective. Since this time last year, the market is up. Not a lot but higher than it was on December 6th in 2017 as far as the Dow Jones and S&P are concerned.

Second, the real question is….How are your investments doing? Technology for example is up. If you have some equity diversity and bonds in your portfolio, the decline of the past few days may be balancing your portfolio to the point where the losses are not so dramatic. Look closer at what you before you panic.

Third, do you have cash? Not just in your pocket but in the bank. Perhaps as part of your asset portfolio where you can access it if you needed. Remembering that cash is one of the three main forms of investment is essential to managing your money. Despite its poor return record of the past ten years, the reason cash is always in style is for its dependability. The currency is always there and insured if parked in an FDIC insured account.

Finally, if you are truly affected in your daily life by the market swings, this is a time for a two pronged improvement to your life. One, take the time to create an investment strategy that matches your age, needs, and personality. Talk to a professional investment person who can educate you and create this for you, before making any changes. Two, do some important work on yourself by finding ways to decompress more in your life. Your health is worth it.

Meantime, know what you can control and cannot. You cannot change the market. You can change your investments. Most of all, you can lower your stress level with some good information.

Phone and The Stock Market.
“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
— Anne Frank

The Hidden Staircase and Ann Frank’s memoir will in my mind for a long time.  Today is the anniversary of Ann Frank starting her diary and I got to thinking…..Her book may have begun my fascination with World War II stories.  Not the battles or the war strategy.  The stories.  The people who lived through it.  Whether they were on the front lines seeing action, living in their hometown in terror or taken as POW or worse to concentration camps, I read them all. 

What I am searching for I do not know.  But the tales of resilience and strength and human kindness in the midst of brutality somehow empower me to live on.  These people no matter where they were or which side of the war, had parents, spouses, lovers, children and family.  In their dire circumstances, they built family.  They persevered beyond some things humanly inconceivable.

I never thought about going to Ann Frank’s house when I read the book.  I envisioned the house.  The house that was so far away in a foreign country that no one I knew had been to.  I had the canal and brown clapboard house clearly pictured in my mind.

Then, three years ago, I found myself in Amsterdam.  Her very city.  Where Ann Frank lived.  That was simply amazing to think about.  More than forty years before I had read a book that changed my thinking and shifted me into much more appreciativeness.  And now I was walking the streets of Ann Frank.

I went to her house.  And there it was along a canal: brown and non-descript.  Walking up the hidden staircase, gave me an airy feeling – it wasn’t the steepness or the narrowness – it was what these stairs had seen and who had walked there.  I was just a tourist,  a passerby but so many had paid dearly by walking these stairs. 

Nothing prepared me to enter the attic rooms themselves.  They were left as they were in the forties.  Peeling wall paper.  Bare minimum necessities for even that time.  The iron sink and sparse décor.  A whole life was lived here.  Many lives were lived here.  The rooms were decent size until you consider who lived there.  And how long they had to stay put in a handful of rooms. 

When I got to Ann’s room, I felt reverent.  Here is a young girl, an author who held strong and focused on something beyond her current situation.  She shared her story.  She dreamed of a future.  She made her best of her time hidden away.  I was honored to share the space she had lived, written and slept in.

I wondered who had turned them in.  And why?  For food?  Benefits?  Life?  Whatever it was, that was their story to tell.  Their life to live.  I can only imagine what strain brought them to that point in life.  Where they were willing to trade a handful of people for something, anything.

Like so many, I wonder what would have become of Ann Frank had she lived.  That was not to be. A blessing that her Dad lived and had the foresight and tenacity to get her diary published.  That may be the only thing that saved him through the postwar years of loss and loneliness.  I bless the woman who saved their personal items and Ann’s diary.  She loved them and remains nameless as far as I know in all this.  But that is the human side of the story.  There is a human side in every WWII story.  And I continue to treasure humanity.  An anniversary of hope is worthy of mention.