Negative Or Just Realistic?

By |2020-04-17T23:10:40+00:00January 31st, 2019|Retirement Planning|

 Is your outlook on life negative or is it just being realistic


The other day a customer called me “negative” — said I was “thinking too negatively about the financial markets, and that in my business I should be MORE positive.”

Holy cow! Where do I begin to respond?

First of all, nobody is more positive-minded than me. As one who helps people enhance their future retirement income position, it’s a “job requirement” to be positive about life in general, and the future in particular.

“In my business” I have a fiduciary responsibility to my customers (not to mention my own moral obligation to myself and my God) to be truthful, honest and also realistic. So I listen to those smarter than me. I study history, I pay attention to the facts, and I observe the “big picture.” I am interested in the broader broad perspective. I’m not negative – just realistic!

And therein is the predicament: Am I wrong for being realistic? Should I continue to think thoughts and express an opinion that runs contrary to the facts, when professionally I know better? Should I suggest that my customers “rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic”?

So, “negative” or “realistic”? Consider the following:

1.) We are overdue for a substantial market correction. A lot of smart financial guys think that correction has already begun and the markets will drop considerably. Key market indicators strongly suggest the markets have peaked (Sept. 2018) and that a steep drop in market values are inevitable. This is merely part of the normal cycles of the markets. The markets ALWAYS come back, but it takes time.

2.) It has typically required 5-7 years for financial markets to return to the level they were before the correction started. This depends on two things—the percentage of loss suffered; and the percentage of return each year on the way back up.

3.) If you have retirement money exposed to market risk during such a correction period, and, you need that money to fund your living expenses and lifestyle, then you will need to get by with less income. Smaller assets produce less revenue. This is just simple math, folks. Or will you raise the stakes, increase your risk – hoping for a big return, and roll the dice with your nest egg even more? (the strategy of many Registered Investment Advisers)

4.) If you don’t need those funds to live on, and can financially tolerate no gains and no income for 5-7 years and still be OK for the future, then you have no reason to worry.

5.) If you are relying on your retirement nest egg to fund the more immediate future, then you might want to consider the safety, stability, and guarantees of a Fixed Annuity for a portion of your retirement funds.

You control what you can. Protect your funds or not.

So, what do you think? Am I negative, or just realistic?


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About the Author:

As a speaker and published author on a variety of retirement income topics, both for the private sector and for federal employees, Jim stresses the importance of financial education through his writings and the seminars he offers. At the core of his philosophy and business approach is the belief that “retirement money should not be put at risk…nor does it have to be to get what you need”. Website:

Office: (916) 212-4040 | Benefit Services Group