Why it shines in the worst of times
Ric Edelman: It's Wednesday, October 11th. I haven't said anything to you yet this week about the horrific attacks against Israel. Like you, I've just been so shocked. Astonished. I just couldn't find the words. Last time I felt this way was 9/11. This attack by Hamas was pure evil. More than a thousand civilians have been slaughtered, including, what, 14 Americans at last count. Thousands of innocent people have been wounded. Their trauma will be with them for the rest of their lives. This brutality is incomprehensible.
But what is not incomprehensible is that America stands with Israel. I was so proud of President Biden's speech yesterday. To be honest, I really wasn't so sure that he was going to be so direct and decisive. I thought he might just equivocate. I'm thrilled that he did not.
So we can put to rest any debates about what the US might do in what just might be fast becoming a global crisis in the Middle East. If we're lucky, this will just be another Six-Day War like we all witnessed in 1967. Otherwise, oh my, I don't even want to verbalize what this might become.
So I will say this: If you ever needed a reason to make sure that your clients are satisfied with their asset allocation, meaning that they have sufficient amounts of cash reserves and that they're steeling themselves for the possibility of a significant and potentially prolonged downturn in the stock and bond markets, then you're not doing your job as their financial advisor.
Assuming you've done your job right and you've educated your clients about market volatility and unexpected global events and how we always come through every storm, then your clients don't need to make any changes to their portfolios right now.
But hearing that from you right now is what they do need to hear. They need to be reminded that we've had difficult and challenging times in the past - 2001, 9/11, 2008, 2020, 2022. Your advice won out in the long term and your advice will win out again if your clients are financially, mentally and emotionally prepared. You need to make sure they are.
Right now, our attention does not belong on our portfolios. Our attention, our hearts, our thoughts, our prayers along with our nation's massive arsenal of military intelligence and weaponry, all belong to Israel. As the president said yesterday, “We stand by Israel. Let there be no doubt.” He said the United States has Israel's back. “We will make sure the Jewish and democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow, as we always have. It's as simple as that,” the president said. “We're with Israel.”
And let me segue a little bit here. I had been planning to talk with you today about a topic that, well, wasn't about Israel. But in a weird way, it really is all about Israel. So let me say to you what I had been planning to say, because I had a pretty fascinating conversation a week or two ago with some good friends of mine, and the conversation became about friendship.
Let me ask you a question. If you have to go to the airport, how do you get there? Do you ask a friend to drive you or do you call an Uber? Or perhaps just drive yourself, leave your car in the parking lot? Who is it that you exercise with, that you work out with? Do you work out and go to the gym with friends? Do you jog with friends or do you hire a professional trainer? Either a human individually or maybe through a subscription program like Peloton.
You know, what I've come to discover is that for an awful lot of people, the people you spend the bulk of your time with are people you pay to be with you. When you go clothes shopping, are you going with friends or are you going with someone you've hired who's a fashion expert? When you have your dogs walked, is that happening with friends or did you hire a dog walker? When you get your hair done, that's I'm willing to bet somebody you've paid to do your hair. You're getting my point. How often are we spending time with friends as opposed to people we are paying to be friendly to us.
This is an issue and I think it's partly a cultural one as well. I once mentioned this conversation about going to the airport with someone who is in the Hispanic community, and he was shocked. He thought I was crazy when I told him that I use Uber to get to the airport. He was like, you don't just call a friend....You don't have a family member?. The notion of not having friends or family readily available to help you with chores and errands, whether it's can even begin to guess running to the store, picking up a child at school, taking you to the airport, what have you; I think that many of us are missing out on something because our first reaction, at least mine, is, oh, I don't want to impose. I don't want to be a burden. I know you're busy, too, and I don't want to ask you to take away from your day.
I’m not even sure how my reaction would be if someone were to ask me to take them to the airport. Might I instinctively say, What the heck? Why don't you just call Uber? So I think this is contributing to what the surgeon general has said is a national epidemic of loneliness. If the only people we're spending our time with are people that were paying to be with you, going into the bar, having a drink, spending the evening, talking to the bartender, a friendly person. But let's face it, if you weren't paying money to sit at that bar, how much time would the bartender be spending to chat with you? You get my point.
I think what we need to make sure we're doing is focusing on the development, the maintenance, the enhancement of our relationships, friends and family. And if you think about it, the people that you are friends with at work, do an analysis of that. Everybody's there because of the money. I don't know anybody at the office who is at the office for free. At the end of the day, if they don't have that job, if they aren't earning that paycheck, they're not there.
So sure, you can be friendly with people at work and I'm sure that you are, in fact, developing genuine relationships with some of the folks at work, people you see socially. Will you continue to see them socially after one or the other of you leaves that job? Think about your friendships, your relationships with family as well as social acquaintances, because that is one big source of wealth in the future.
You know, you understand stocks and bonds and real estate and you know how to evaluate them. You know how to choose among them. But do you know how to evaluate and choose among digital assets? Come learn how on my next webinar today at 1:00 Eastern. I'll be joined by Christopher Jensen, director of research at Franklin Templeton Digital Assets. And we'll show you tokenomics and how you can use this new research to make informed decisions about crypto coins and tokens. You'll get one CE credit. The webinar is today 1 p.m. Eastern. Stay informed about the latest in the investment management field. You can register right now.