Tis the Season of Hecticness...

It’s been a busy December, which resulted in me not getting the commentary out last week. Normally, I would be quite upset with myself for not meeting my self-imposed deadline; however, I just wanted to take a moment and pause. Toan, Sally and I have accomplished quite a few major projects this year, and the net result will help us to be more efficient and better able to help you with your needs.

 

Unfortunately, last week we were slowed down by two older computers in office struggling to keep up with some of the demands we’ve placed on them via updated and more powerful software. This loss of productivity resulted in me ordering two new computers that are being installed this week, but in the meantime, Sally has had to work on a system that was bogging down and running slower than molasses in January. She has been a real trooper through it all.

 

Next, I had meetings with two individuals whom are facing job losses and/or medical conditions that are severely impacting them or immediate family members. Based upon what these individuals shared with me, I realized what significant events they were facing, and how strong their resolve was in the face of what I would perceive to be unbelievable, and in one case, life threating uncertainty. As such, me missing a deadline is not the end of the world. Especially since no one has told me that their life revolves around reading these twice a month commentaries.

 

In addition, I have begun to completely tune out all the talk about the fiscal cliff. In my opinion, what is occurring is similar to all the hype that surrounded Y2K (i.e., the dire predictions of what would happen on 1/1/2000, but didn’t). Currently, both sides of the aisle are strutting around like peacocks and trying to see who’s got the best plumage, in the public’s eye. No matter what is said, there will be some sort of agreement regarding the U.S. budgetary policies in the near future. Even if this agreement does not take place by year-end, the sun will still rise in the east and set in the west each day. I believe the stock market may dip temporarily during all the rhetoric and negotiations, but will snap back like a rubber band once an agreement is reached. Just like Hurricane Sandy, which has become an afterthought, except for those on the east coast impacted by it, all the worry and hysteria surrounding the “fiscal cliff” will fade away.

 

I have found that in the vast majority of cases; simply stopping, taking a deep breath and stepping back emotionally from the event at hand, is the best approach to whatever the headlines are in the news. In most cases, the actual event may not occur, or if it does, its impact is quite muted and not anything similar to what the pundits predicted.

 

That being said, I really look forward to December each year. It’s when I can listen to Christmas music in the car, attend various Christmas and holiday events, and more importantly, have a fire in the fireplace and snuggle up with my kids and watch many of the old time Christmas specials from when I was a kid; especially since I am old enough to remember such entertainers as Jimmy Durante, Burl Ives and Fred Astaire.

 

Well, it hit me this weekend, that with all the school, Boy Scout, church and sports activities, along with work, I have not watched one Christmas special with my kids. I realize that this is not tragedy, and our family can overcome it. However, I truly enjoy these fleeting moments, because before too long, these same little kids will want to borrow the car keys to go somewhere or be off at college. Also, taking a break and reliving my childhood memories with my kids, takes the edge of me and allows me to just stop and enjoy the moment. In doing so, I can often clear my head of the negative and fear-filled words, thoughts or comments I’ve encountered during the week regarding current geopolitical world events.

 

Now, I am not saying that by taking this time with my kids will change what will occur. However, it makes me realize that what may appear to be an extremely tumultuous situation is really not something that I should be overly reactive toward. Prudent thinking, combined with patience, a measured resolve and religious convictions makes for a much more pleasurable personal life and profitable portfolio.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that it is one thing to be busy and to miss out on some of the traditions of the holiday, but it is quite another to be worried and fretful about our finances regarding  what might not even occur and neglect the moment. As a result, I am going to do my darnedest to salvage what time I can with my family, for the reminder of this Christmas Holiday Season and not fret about those events I cannot personally control or that may not even occur. And I sincerely hope that you are able to do the same this season.

 

One last thought, there is some contentment in being an adult. Such as flipping through all the holiday sales ads in the Sunday paper, taking a sip of coffee, and realizing that there is not really anything I truly want or need for Christmas. It has taken many years for me to come to this point, and sometimes I still struggle with the concept of spending less, but giving more of myself, time or money to others or charity. However, it is much more rewarding and less stressful in the end.     

 

Quotes

 

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.”

                        Bernard Manning


“No self-respecting mother would run out of intimidations on the eve of a major holiday.”

Emma Bombeck


“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.”

Larry Wilde

 

Tony Moeller, CPA

 

The information listed in this commentary is a compilation of various publicly available sources and is for informational purposes only.  It is not a recommendation or solicitation of any particular investment or strategy.  A risk of loss is involved with investments in the stock and bond markets.

 

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