3 Things 7-11

07/11/2022 Although MAS is a financial services company, not everything published herein will be about numbers or investing. But no matter the topic, we hope for three things: 1) That you find the time you spend engaged worthwhile. 2) That you’ll reach out to us for help in any of our areas of expertise if something we discuss creates an urging in you to do so. 3) That you’ll share this with somebody new each time you read it. Thing One THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME IN MY TWENTIES A recent article with that title had a long list of items on it. Here are five of our favorites with our own commentary: 1) Credit cards are black holes – If you get in the habit of “buying” things with borrowed money, you could find yourself deep in debt. It happens slowly at first then it snowballs. Do your best to pay off your purchases monthly. If you’ve gotten yourself in a hole stop digging by discontinuing the use of the cards and put together a plan to extinguish the debt. 2) Thirty years from now you'll wish you had invested more in stocks – It’s painful to be an investor at times (like right now) if you have a short-term perspective. But over a 30-year time frame, using history as a guide, there hasn’t been a better place to invest for real (net of inflation) returns. 3) Put retirement first (not buying a house) – We’re told that buying a house is the best investment you can make. But unless you plan to sell your house in retirement and use the proceeds to live (while living rent-free with someone), you’d better be putting away money for the years after you’ve stopped working since social security may not be sufficient. 4) Insurance is a must – That means all personal lines of insurance - Health, Property and Casualty, and Life (except in cases where you’ve made the calculation that your assets will sufficiently provide for your survivors). And don’t assume on the Life insurance that what you have at your job is adequate since you’ll only have it as long as you have that job. 5) You'll end up treasuring almost nothing you buy – That doesn’t mean don’t save up (or splurge if you already have the money) to buy that thing – whatever it is – that your heart desires. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. But when you’re at the point of finally looking back at it all, cars, clothes, and houses won’t likely be very high on the list of things that bring you joy to reflect on.

Thing Two Some Simple Investing Questions For Turbulent Times A recent financial news interviewee was asked how to think about investing at a time of extreme volatility and he answered by suggesting that a person should ask themselves the following three questions: 1. When do I need the money? 2. What types of returns are typical when stocks have already taken a large leg down? 3. Can I deal with the headlines and volatility long enough to receive those returns? The answer to the first question is critical. As we’ve said repeatedly, if you need the money now, or anytime in the immediate future, it’s probably not a good idea to have it at risk in the market. Using history as a guide, as the second question suggests, is always advisable. And even though past performance is no guarantee of future results, it is at least a good starting point for planning. From there we can model what-ifs to our heart's content. As for the third question, it’s critical that the answer is yes - either on your own or with professional help. If the answer is no, again, you probably should consider de-risking your portfolio.

Thing Three Just A Thought "It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark." - Howard Ruff