2020 has been a strange year. Some things have changed and yet some things have stayed the same. New pandemics, new vaccines, new words (furlough), new concepts – lockdowns, social distancing, exclamations of ‘damn, I’ve forgotten my mask’ and Donald Trump. See, some things have stayed the same.
As I reluctantly accepted the inevitability of another lockdown last week, a text from an old mate made me smile…’I knew this would end in tiers’. What else can we do? Whether you’re a believer or otherwise we are all undoubtedly in the same storm but perhaps we’re in different boats.
The promise of a post-Easter relaxation seems a long way off to me but again, what else can we do?
As Christmas looms and with it the knowledge that it will be a very different one to that we are used to, I was reminded of a childhood memory by my sister after the recent passing of a 90-year-old relative of ours. Growing up, our kitchen table where the family debates would rage as homework was put off for another hour was overlooked by a simple piece of writing titled Desiderata, hung there by my Dad as if to provide rules to the aforementioned debates. Desiderata is a plural noun, and when in the singular form desideratum, means; ‘things wanted or needed’. These words have seemingly followed me around all my life. The opening gambit counsels us all to ‘Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence’. Sage words indeed. Later, ‘exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. Disappointingly true, in my experience.
While these writings may offer you some solace from the rigours of 2020, I on the other hand can offer you none, bar hope for a brighter 2021.
One of the cornerstones of TWP Wealth has been our mantra to ‘stay in the market’. Indeed I repeat this belief whenever possible as I truly believe in it. In 1999, Baz Luhrmann penned a variation of Desiderata called ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’ in which he noted that we should all accept certain inalienable truths: ‘Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too, will get old; And when you do, you’ll fantasise that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders’. What did we say about some things changing, yet others staying the same?
In a world where we really do not know what’s around the next corner, as witnessed by 2020 and its effects on our economy and our way of life, it serves us all well to exercise the aforementioned caution in our business affairs. The TWP version of this is to remain invested in the market, and not to exit as that simply crystallises any losses. Similarly, out-performing the market through clever short-term strategies is and has been proven to be a fool’s game; Crystal ball-gazing if you will. Market performance over the long term will always, and has always paid off.
I can hear you say, ‘well you would say that wouldn’t you’. However, it’s a belief upon which we build our service; everything we do here at TWP is built upon staying the course and investing for the long term.
If you’d like to chat about this, perhaps kick about a few what-if scenarios around or just check in with us in these uncertain times, please, please get in touch; we’ve mastered Zoom and perhaps soon enough we will be able to meet up face-to-face. But if it cannot wait until then, please get in touch.
In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a new new year.