Lessons from a Near Miss

When’s the last time you had a close call? A flirt with disaster? A near miss?

Many of these experiences happen when we’re behind the wheel of our vehicles. That momentary distraction when your phone chirps. Maybe you stayed a little too long at that party. Or perhaps you left your eyeglasses at home. You’re just not 100% in the moment for whatever reason. And something darts across the road or swerves into your lane.

You adeptly jerk out of the way just in time. Your heart races and adrenaline kicks in. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying. You could have hurt yourself…or someone else. But you narrowly advert disaster and vow to never let yourself be distracted again.

Haven’t we all been there in many ways for many different reasons? These experiences often change our behavior and sit with us for years.

Your portfolio can probably relate. Couldn’t we accurately describe the ride your retirement savings has taken this year as being like a near miss? Back in March the US stock market lost 30% of its value in a two-week period – the fastest drop of this magnitude in history. But in five months’ time the market was back to all-time highs.

It’s not unusual for markets to drop by 20% or more. That happens about once or twice a decade. What’s unusual is the speed of the current recovery. We typically measure recoveries in years.

But with disaster temporarily adverted it may be time to think about changing your behavior. If you were taking too much risk earlier in the year you have a second chance to reposition. If you were experiencing sleepless nights you have been granted a rare opportunity to better prepare yourself and your savings for the next inevitable correction!

Thankfully near misses are rare. But so too are the opportunities to be proactive in the aftermath. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Be certain that your future is secure. Next time, you might not be so lucky.

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