Keep Calm and Carry On
In 1939, facing a second World War, the British government produced the now famous poster – intended to raise the morale of the British public that was threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities.
I am very cognizant that comparing investing to living with the threat of (or in the middle of) a war is clearly not “apples to apples”. In light of what is happening in Ukraine today, and the resulting effects on world stock markets and assets, I nonetheless feel that this message is a good one, and is Ginsler Wealth’s best investment advice for how to navigate this very challenging situation.
Climbing the Wall of Worry
In my last quarterly letter, I stressed that uncertainty is the only thing I know for certain. Throughout history there has never been a time without uncertainty and there has rarely been a time without significant negative world events. Just looking back over the past 30+ years (see chart below), there has been a variety of reasons for investors to worry. In all cases – using world equity markets as a guide – the world has climbed, or overcome, this wall of worry. The COVID-19 pandemic is a fantastic example of the resilience of citizens, countries, and asset prices.
A Timeline of Negative World Events
“Diversification is the Only Free Lunch in Finance”
Famed economist and Nobel Prize laureate Harry Markowitz coined the above phrase. While correlation of assets tend to move in relative sync during times of crisis, it is precisely at these times when investors should be reviewing their own personal risk tolerances. Most people have a very high risk tolerance when assets are moving higher, but not necessarily the same corresponding risk tolerance during asset corrections. This is why we spend a lot of energy seeking alternative asset class strategies and managers that can employ hedging tools, with the goal of protecting downside while striving for reasonable upside.
I do not know what will happen next in the world in either the short or long term, but by keeping calm, by looking at history as a guide, and by ensuring your portfolios get the benefit of our best thinking and diversification, we will carry on.
 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Calm_and_Carry_On