I have had some interesting and rewarding conversations recently.
There is a great deal that has been written about behavioral finance, and although we aren’t an investment firm per se, stewarding our clients’ wealth is central to our work.
What behavioral finance ultimately tells us is that people make decisions primarily based on emotional response, rather than good math. I’m not suggesting that you do, but in principle, we’re emotional creatures and that impacts our thinking.
A pandemic messes with most of our regular life structures: work is different, home life is different, travel is different, the news is different. And our brains do not like “different.” They like “same.” The result is that this is a time to think very carefully, so that we do not make decisions based on the pressures of an acute situation.
A client recently asked me if they should make changes to their plan, and the answer was quite simple: If your long-term vision for the future has not changed, then stay on your plan. What we are experiencing right now is a moment in time. It is a big moment – a historical moment – but it’s a moment. On the other side of it, business will return to a new normal, families will transition wealth, business owners will find successors to their companies, etc.
Beyond this, however, think very carefully about what else will be happening on the other side of this…
- The federal government is spending at an unprecedented rate
- The Bank of Canada is printing money at an unprecedented rate
What do you think will happen to tax rates when the pandemic subsides? It is very unlikely they will stay the same or go down. Based on our conversations and our professions consensus, taxes will increase and your plans to mitigate that will be more important than ever
Think carefully before you consider changing your plans for the long term.