How Much Money Will I Need for the Apocalypse? (And Other Financial Questions I’m Getting Right Now)
Last week I put my phone down, closed my laptop, and sat in darkness and silence for about 30 minutes. I emerged feeling refreshed and my spirit renewed. I would encourage you all to do the same, as needed. It’s easy to become totally absorbed in the news, and in our quest to right the ship, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Sit in silence for 5, 10, 20 minutes, or however long you can. Take deep breaths and remember what’s good in life. Love and compassion still exist, I promise you.
Now, with that being said, I’ve been fielding quite a few interesting questions lately. Here are my responses:
1. “In this volatile political environment, should I pull my money out of the stock market?”
There’s no easy answer as to what you should do with your money. It’s a case-by-case basis. First and foremost, you need to know your risk tolerance and risk capacity (here’s an explanation of both). Secondly, you need to have a long-term plan in place. The next few years could be quite the roller coaster ride. In order not to vomit all over yourself, be sure to know what your goals are, how long you have to reach them, and what your strategy is going to be to get there. If you’re saying, “Where do I even begin?”, I would suggest speaking to a financial planner.
2. Should I keep my cash under my mattress and how many nonperishable items is too many nonperishable items?
I once worked with a guy who was such a catastrophist he kept 3 years worth of canned goods in his literal bomb shelter. With each passing day, I’m considering moving in with him.
That was a joke you guys. I’m not moving in with a 70 year old man who also believes in aliens (not the illegal kind, the space kind).
Please stop watching those idiotic talking heads on television. By all means, continue to read the news from reputable sources, but those folks who spend everyday stirring up trouble on cable television are doing nothing but fear mongering and speculating. Their job is to get a reaction out of you. This goes for financial talking heads, and regular news talking heads. There’s only a select few who don’t make me want to throw my tv through the window. Sup, Van Jones? *winking emoji*
It’s so important not to move your money or investments based on the day’s news or what the talking head told you. Only you know your goals, your risk tolerance and capacity, your assets and liabilities, and strategy. The yelling blonde lady or guy with a fancy suit on tv does not. Fear rules the news right now, don’t EVER let fear drive your financial decisions, or any decision for that matter.
3. How many hours per day should I be crying?
7-8 hours per day is appropriate. Oh wait, no, that’s the recommended number of hours of sleep. I’m sorry, I’ve replaced sleep with sobbing, so I’m slightly delusional right now. Again, financial decisions should not be made while you are crying. Please stick to your financial plan. If you think it may need adjustments or you’re feeling uncomfortable with any aspect of your investments, speak to a trusted financial planner before making any moves.
4. What kind of portfolio makes sense if democracy collapses?
Again, this is a case-by-case basis. I would generally recommend you be well diversified. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Find out what mix of investments is going to be right for you and your situation. The answer is slightly different for everyone. How your cash and investments are allocated is always important.
5. What’s Values Based Living and how do I get on board?
I’ve gotten a few questions about investing based on “values” recently. I, myself, have not tried it, but I can see the appeal. Basically, this is the idea of investing in companies that align with your personal values. On paper values based investing sounds great, in application it’s more complex.
As far as “values based living” goes, this means you’re spending your cash on things that are important to you. This could be anything from vacations with family, to a night out with the girls, to a $4.50 vanilla latte. Values based living is great if you budget well and can allocate funds ahead of time to activities and experiences you most cherish. So often financial planners spend their days telling people to save money here and cut expenses there. We sometimes forget to tell our clients it’s okay to spend on things you presently love. We have to prepare for our futures, but we also can’t forget to live in the now. Life is fleeting, my friends, enjoy every day.
6. Should I be hoarding avocados?
Ummm yeah, probably. As a lover of guacamole and Corona, I’m anticipating the price of these goods to increase in the months and years to come. Please dear God, let me be wrong. If this is the case, I suggest purchasing a mini-fridge and stocking it full with Corona and avocados now. According to my Google research (*highly unscientific*), Corona can last up to a year if stored properly. Avocados only last about a week. Damn it! According to my recent kitchen experience, if you cut open an avocado, and then place it back in the fridge it’ll last about 15 seconds.
Keep fighting for what is good and right. Until next time: peace, love, and avocados.
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