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2018. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

2018 review on napkinIt was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

This quote from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was written in 1775.  But from a Financial, Social, Governmental, World-wide perspective, this could be 2018.  Based on your point of view, 2018 held many ‘best of times.”  Low unemployment, higher interest rates on our savings accounts, more consumer confidence, bustling economy.  Based on your point of view it could be “the worst of times.” Market volatility, social unrest, government shut down.

But no matter how you see it, the one thing we can be sure of is that nothing stays the same.  Change is the one constant.

After a strong economy and market growth in 2017, who saw any reason for that not to continue in 2018?  And could a bull market of 10 years seem like it should never end? But history taught us better. And as the year continued the rollercoaster ride for the markets had our hopes coming and going.  But just like a rollercoaster, the ride could be lots of fun. It could be the best.  But you could get hurt if you jumped off.  That could be the worst.

In years like this certain actions are best.  Reviewing your goals.  Long term and short term.  Revisiting your budget.  Keeping cash.  Eliminating debt.  Increasing your retirement savings where possible. Considering buying into the market while it is “on sale”.  Redoing your retirement analysis.  Reviewing your insurance programs.  Completing or updating your Estate Planning.  Adjusting your tax situation based on the new tax laws.

And in years like this you need to be celebrating your successes. Completing the kid’s education funding, taking that trip that was on your “bucket list”, paying off the mortgage, getting that promotion, funding for you long term objectives.

In years like this some actions are the worst.  Borrowing on your retirement plans.  Maxing out your credit cards.   Drawing down your investment accounts.

But 2019 is upon us.  Could it be the best of times, the worst of time?  No crystal ball.  Only time will tell.  But at The Musuneggi Financial Group we hope for the best of times and prepare for the worst of times.  We are grateful for all of our clients who have worked with us through the best of times (the 1990’s) and the worst (how did we ever survive 2008?); and we are thankful for the new clients who joined us in 2018.  We are excited for the prospect of a new year and what it might bring.  And we are hopeful that no matter what the year might bring for the economy, the world, the government, the markets, the social order, that whatever you want or need or hope to accomplish this year, it is all the best it can be just for you.