Roller Coaster

How to Cope With the Investing Emotional Roller Coaster of 2020

July 27, 2020

By Michael List, CFP®
Portfolio Manager

As a kid, I used to love riding roller coasters. During our only family trip to Florida, my parents splurged and paid for us to attend a few theme parks (Busch Gardens was my favorite). Since my parents didn’t like to “waste money,” and because they were taking along several children, that meant a few things:

  • We stood in line a lot. My parents did not have extra money for “fast passes.”
  • We packed lunch in a cooler that we could eat in the parking lot.
  • We were at the park from sun-up until closing time, to get our money's worth.

Most of the day was spent waiting in lines, but as closing time approached and the crowds disappeared, you could ride almost as fast as it took you to run up to the ride entrance. Because I was young, I needed to be accompanied by a parent (or rather my older brothers; it turns out, parents get tired after chasing children all day in the Florida heat). At the end of the day, they took turns riding the roller coasters with me. I went so many times one of my brothers got sick. It was a great time.

Fast forward to last summer, when I took my son on the carnival scissors ride. I can still handle it — but the ups and downs are not as fun as they used to be.

The same could be said about the financial and emotional roller coasters that many of us are riding in 2020. This year, my wife and I have had many conversations and course corrections that we didn't see coming. In urgent times, we need to make quick adjustments (like the at 10 p.m. on Sunday night, when we found out school and daycare would be closed the next morning). But calmer days give us a a chance to re-evaluate our goals for 10, 20, 30 years in the future. Long-term plans look a lot different now than they did a year ago. 

If you have not already done so, this is an important year to revisit your financial goals. Some common things to think about include retirement age, travel, health care, home projects and major purchases like a new home or a new car. Any of these goals may have been affected by the pandemic and quarantine.

When you are ready, contact an advisor and schedule a meeting to discuss your plan. Our experts are here to help you navigate through the market's ups and downs, and MoneyGuidePro® — our financial planning program — is a great tool to evaluate your financial goals and project whether or not you're on track to reach them.

About the Author

Michael List, CFP®

Michael List is a Portfolio Manager, helping execute investment strategy, transactional execution and overall portfolio management for Security National Bank's Wealth Management Division. He has been a member of the SNB Wealth Management team since 2008.