Control what you can during discontinuous change
Amid a world in change, it’s important to do the things we can do to feel more in control.
COVID-19 is an example of discontinuous change defined as a sudden, non-incremental change that drastically alters the way things have traditionally been done. Every one of us has felt the impact of drastic changes in the way we interact, transact business, and generally go about our lives.
Like most unexpected events, this pandemic has created a wide range of feelings, many of which mirror those of dealing with grief. There has been plenty of shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and depression. Add to this the loneliness of isolation and distancing from loved ones, it’s little wonder people are struggling to find coping mechanisms for the discontinuous change that has been foisted upon us. It seems we still have some way to go before we can get to acceptance and finding a clear path forward given we can’t predict how this will evolve in the months ahead. In times of discontinuous change, controlling things within our control can be empowering.
In terms of your financial well-being there are a few things you can do to help you feel more in control.
First, don’t panic about the stock market. If you’re invested in the financial markets keep your long-term-picture hat on tightly. While still well off its February 10th high, the Dow Jones index is steadily climbing after its March 16th low. And the Nasdaq Composite today is only a few hundred points below where it was in February. Looking at your financial reports for the first and second quarter of 2020 may not feel too good in the moment, but things on that front at least are rebounding.
If you don’t have a financial plan in place, now is a great time to consider getting one. This may be particularly important if you’re facing potential changes in your employment situation. Many workers have taken pay cuts, absorbed reduced hours, or had other short-term actions taken by their employers. You may want to work with your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to create or modify your investment, retirement, and tax plans if you’re facing career uncertainty.
Developing or revisiting your plans related to your career asset may be well-timed now. We have discovered things during this crisis that will fundamentally alter the way we work. There may be opportunities for continued remote/flexible hours or other arrangements that didn’t exist with your employer previously. We’re hearing from clients looking for ideas on extending their career asset in inventive ways that had not occurred to them prior to a pandemic-inspired paradigm shift.