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Long-Term View: It’s no secret that the market is in a season of increased volatility. We know uncertainty can create feelings of vulnerability and perhaps outright fear. We came across this chart, which offers up a healthy long-term perspective on performance. The rewards aren’t immediate, but they will come in due time (see below). The issue with down markets is that you’re never quite sure what its overall impact will or won’t become. The chart below depicts what the returns are that you would have realized over a one, three, five and ten year time frame if you would have invested in the NASDAQ index right after it fell into bear market territory. Of course, our firm would never recommend being invested in this highly concentrated a manner, but the data is instructive none the less.

How Often Should I Check My Investments? Great question! We often hear stories of people who check their investments daily or weekly. In our experience, focusing on asset values that frequently can often be counterproductive. We believe that reviewing your statements monthly or even quarterly is a much healthier approach for most clients. As we learn time and time again, we are well served when we remain committed to our long-term investment perspective. It’s human nature to be upset by seasons of downside volatility and allow that to spill over into our day-to-day lives. Creator of Nike, Phil Knight, says it this way, “But that’s the nature of money. Whether you have it or not, whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, it will try to define your days. Our task as human beings is not to let it.”

Medical Debt: Earlier this month, the three largest credit bureaus in the United States agreed to remove tens of billions of dollars in medical debt from consumer credit reports. Typically, these loans remain on a credit report for up to seven years, even if they’ve been paid off, Forbes reported. Do you know someone with a large medical debt? Let them know about Dollar For, an organization that helps doctors eliminate these liabilities.

Business Briefing:

  • Jobless Claims Drop—Initial jobless claims fell to 187,000 last week, the lowest level since Sept. 6, 1969, the Labor Department reported last week. “U.S. businesses are not laying off workers because they know the enormous challenges they’re facing in filling open positions,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. (Labor Department, Reuters)
  • Uber Adds NYC taxis—Uber has reached a deal to list all New York City taxis on its ride-hailing app, The Wall Street Journal reported last week. The agreement could help Uber address a driver shortage and curb fare increases while giving more customers to traditional cab drivers hit hard by competition from ride-sharing apps and the coronavirus pandemic. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Biden says the U.S. will help Europe—Late last week, President Biden reached a deal for the United States to help the European Union get more liquefied natural gas to help the trading bloc replace Russian fuel imports. Biden met with E.U. leaders at a summit to strengthen unity in punishing Russia for invading Ukraine. (Bloomberg, CNBC)

Are ”Dumbphones” Trending? Recently the BBC shared a story about a seventeen-year-old Robin West who traded her smartphone for a basic handset with minimal functionality. These so-called “dumbphones” (or bricks) usually allow users to make and receive calls, SMS text messages, and—if you’re lucky—listen to the radio and take basic photos. The devices are similar to those from the late 1990s. West says, “I didn’t notice until I bought a brick phone how much a smartphone was taking over my life. I had a lot of social media apps on it, and I didn’t get as much work done as I was always on my phone.” One maker of dumbphones is the New York company Light Phone (pictured below). They say sales have soared. Think you’d ever make the switch?