IdesMarch 13, 2019 -
Categorized in: IAG News
This coming Friday we celebrate the Ides of March.
I personally celebrate the Ides of March because it marks the (almost) halfway point of my least favorite month of the year. March is not warm enough to start outside spring activities, but not cold enough to extend fun winter activities. The cold rains of March melt away the snow piles, revealing the winter’s accumulated dirt and grime.
For the Roman Empire the Ides of March in 44 B.C. marked a far more negative turning point in its history. On that day a rogue group of senators stabbed Julius Caesar to death, triggering the start of a civil war for what was previously a very stable and powerful government.
The markets also have their Ides of March moments, and they rarely fall on March 15. Instead of emperors versus assassins, the markets pit optimists versus pessimists every day.
Through all of 2017 the optimist empire ruled with an iron fist and led the stock markets higher. In 2018 pessimist conspirators made two attempts to turn the tide. One “Ides of March” moment occurred on January 26, 2018, and the other occurred on September 20, 2018. Those two days mark the peak of the optimist empire in 2018.
We now find ourselves in an ongoing market battle for dominance. The pessimist empire appears to have peaked on Christmas Eve and has been ceding territory at a rapid pace in 2019, but the optimist empire has not gained sufficient strength to retake the territory it lost last year.
The key to surviving such a battle is to have an excellent battle plan ahead of time. For our clients, that plan is their personal Portfolio GPSTM which lays out their goals and how much investment and inflation risk they plan to take as they work toward their long-term goals.
When the optimist empire is gaining strength and followers, we stick to our clients’ battle plan. When the pessimist empire is firmly in control, we stick to our clients’ battle plan. When the two are struggling for control, we stick to our clients’ battle plan.
If you are an optimist, celebrate the Ides of March because March will be half over. If you are a pessimist, remember the Ides of March as the peak of the Roman Empire. And every day — regardless of your disposition — make sure you have a financial plan.
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