With all the negative reporting out there, it is hard for many investors or their advisors to find either a balanced viewpoint or a reason to be confident in the future. But should they just tune out?
Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate at the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, is being quoted as telling people that when the news is bad, they should just ignore it.
That seems to be a slightly exaggerated take on Blayney's advice, which centers more around finding things in the economy and in life that are going well and trying to improve the things that aren't.
It's a very different proposition from trying to hide from the news.
As she herself says, "it's not a matter of whistling in the economic dark, but actually taking concrete steps to illuminate the course forward."
This has been coming up a lot with my work with advisors. People are tired of bad news, but some days there's just no good news in the media.
The media has been dreading a new recession since the last one ended. The reporters are still terrified that the next economic shudder will leave them with all their colleagues who were laid off a few years ago.
And they know that at least in the short term, fear sells. It destroys the audience you're trying to build over the long haul, but in the here and now that gloomy headline gets the hits.
But your clients don't know that. All they see is the negativity, and they either trust it or they don't.
This is an opportunity. Everything is.
Your clients should be trusting you to give them the real picture of how well the economy is doing and where they fit into it.
You know a lot more about the economy than most of the reporters out there, anyway.
If things are bad, tell your clients what the solutions might entail. How can they adjust their lifestyle to protect themselves? How are you working to protect them?
Advice is not just about interpreting the data. It's about suggesting those "concrete steps" that take us into a better situation.