Steadfastness. It is a term we do not use as often as in the past. But it certainly applies as we experience the volatility of this current market. If you were invested in the market in 2018, there is a good chance you will see a negative return on your 2018 Servant Solutions 12/31 quarterly statement. However, there was a noticeable spike in the market in January that has the S&P 500 reflecting a positive return of 5.47% YTD as of this writing. What is an investor to do while riding this “roller coaster” market? Now is an important time to reflect on timeless market principles:
“Time in” the market is much more important than “timing” the market.
More money has been lost in trying to avoid a market selloff than by staying fully invested for the long haul.
Stocks are volatile at both low/high valuations, so avoiding volatility should not be the aim of a retirement investor.
Your time horizon for needing your funds is more important than the short-term ups/downs of the market.
Your savings strategy always trumps your investment strategy. You don’t invest your way to a successful retirement, you save your way!
Don’t let fear/greed drive you away from time-tested investment principles. As the article below states from our investment advisors, Ronald Blue Trust, being steadfast in our biblical investment principles is even more critical regardless of the economic season, political climate, or how the stock market is doing. Servant Solutions is here to help. Please feel free to call us if you have concerns or need to adjust your strategy to reflect the statements above.
The following was written by Brian Shepler, President and EVP of Client Services, located in Ronald Blue Trust’s national office in Atlanta, Georgia.
In years past, I’ve written about the people who inspire me and why remembering our journey, whether it’s a personal life journey or our company’s history, serves as an encouragement by showing how God has been faithful and has sustained us through the years. This year, having been with the company for almost two decades, I wanted to share what it means to be a part of the Ronald Blue Trust family, and how proud I am of the culture we’ve cultivated when it comes to caring for our staff and our clients.
One word that has resonated strongly with me lately is “steadfast.” It’s an Old English word that isn’t commonly used in this day and age, but it holds a rich meaning: “secure in position, steady, firm in its place, resolute.” In the ever-changing financial services industry, I’ve realized that steadfast is an important word to remember when it comes to life in general. It’s also applicable to our firm, to the services we provide, our commitment to our clients, and the corporate culture we maintain at Ronald Blue Trust.
Russ Crosson, our Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Mission Officer, routinely reminds our team that biblical principles serve as our bedrock because they’re “always true, always right and never change,” regardless of the economic season, political climate, or how the stock market is doing. Going into the new year, I’m grateful to see that our advisors have a steadfast commitment to integrating those principles into how they counsel clients. As a result, they can navigate their goals-based financial planning decisions with clarity and confidence, even in the midst of a challenging geopolitical climate.
The concept of steadfastness also applies to how we approach investment management. After 2017’s robust 20%-30% growth in both global and domestic equity markets, 2018 proved to be a tumultuous year in the securities markets. The widely publicized Dow Jones Industrial Index set a new record for intra-day point decline while, at different points in the year, the S&P 500 Index established new records for both daily point gains and losses. Even amid this turbulence, we are steadfastly committed to helping our clients weather volatility by maintaining a focus on their plans and time horizons instead of daily market ups and downs.
Moving to a national trust platform has also better positioned us to help clients fulfill their financial promises to future generations by naming us as corporate trustee in their estate plans. We are encouraged and humbled by the significant number of clients who revised their estate documents last year and look forward to being involved in their family stewardship for future generations.
In addition to our work with clients, we remain steadfast in our commitment to the core values that support our unique corporate culture and workplace environments across the country. These values include biblical wisdom, excellence, life balance, integrity, faithful stewardship, and respectful relationships. We never want to lose sight of the principles that have brought us this far.
When I think of the new year, the concept of remaining steadfast to our clients and internal core values is immensely important in shaping our vision for 2019. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (ESV). What a great verse to start the new year! My prayer is that it will be established as our corporate heartbeat for 2019 and many years to come.
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 8077173-01-19