It’s safe to say that the market sentiment was less than positive throughout this past year, and since the market downturn started in Q1 2022. Now, we find ourselves at the end of 2023’s first quarter, and the feeling is much the same. There are those that are fearful and those that will tell anyone who will listen that the worst is yet to come. Many have predicted a recession and claimed that it will be bad for equities, but is this how things have played out? The market (as measured by the MSCI All Country World Index), however, is up ~7% through Q1, and up ~18% since the current trough on October 14th, 2022 - which is good news for investors and the economy as a whole.
Despite this welcome good news, everyone still seems to be down about the future. What I have learned in my life, whether it be sports or financial markets, is when everyone is certain that something is going to happen everyone is a little more prepared for the outcome. You see, I’ve had the joy and pleasure of coaching my son’s Little League team for the last 3 years. In year 1, we were horrible (and that’s putting it nicely!), and we finished 0-8-1. Since then, the kids have worked hard and prepared themselves. Last year we finished .500, and as I write this, we started the season off 3-0!
When it comes to “the market,” predictions of a downturn are often priced into the value of companies. This is typically because people and the companies that comprise the market, themselves have time to prepare. This often lessens the impact that everyone is so afraid of. It’s that thing no one saw coming that catches people off guard. Kind of like my son’s Little League team.
Another parallel between sports and financial markets is how our minds work either for us or against us. The winners in sports are the ones who take losing and use it as a positive motivator. Thinking long-term, with a vision to get to greatness.
The same I have found holds true for people that are looking to build wealth. Do you use a setback, and think of the worst, then give up? Or dig deep, understand the past setbacks, and use them as a positive motivational tool for long-term success with a vision to get to greatness?
Unfortunately, the statistics of wealth creation for individuals in this great country point to the former being true. However, just like we were able to turn my son’s team around into winners, my goal is to help turn around the financial fortunes of people who want to join Julius Wealth Advisors on its long-term journey.
When people hear the word recession, their minds often go back to the most recent damaging one (The Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2009). The trauma is still very real for many who were hit hard by events that they played no part in. The thing is that if (and this is a big if) there was a recession today, it would be different from those that have occurred before. The last one may have been bad, but this potential one would be different, meaning that the effects should also be different. While it’s understandable to look at history for answers in the future, this doesn’t work when the events occurring aren’t the same. One of the biggest events of this quarter was the collapse of both the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, which has caused many to predict and speculate that the worst is yet to come based on what has happened before. I broke this down at length on Ep 15 of my podcast The Big Bo $how.
The same unfortunately often happens with people. People stereotype them because we don’t make the time or effort to get to know them individually. I’m by no means condoning this, however, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t make prejudgments about people from time to time. I speak from experience, as I experienced this when I played football in college. Many of my teammates at the time only saw me as Jewish. The thing is, most never even met a Jewish person before, so they only had stories to go on about what I was like. Once they got to know me, they understood that I was my own person and thankfully, quite different from the stories they’d heard. One of my good friends on the team even came up to me one day after practice and said, “You know Jason, I never met a Jewish person before, though I heard about them. And, you are nothing like what I heard.” While I was a little taken aback by that, I simply replied, “Yup. We are just humans, just like you.”
When you dig past the surface, you can see what really lies beneath.
The same goes for the market. No two recessions are usually the same, so should another one come, we shouldn’t expect the same fallout. As soon as the words collapse or recession are uttered, people’s minds go straight to a financial crisis. Yes, banks have crashed recently, as they have done before. The point here is that I find when people invest, they become lazy, and their minds work against them. Which is the opposite of what successful sports teams do!
They see an event and make a surface-level judgment and fall into a negative mental trap. Instead of digging deeper to look under the surface. To notice that the surface-level story they have been told is very different.
Banks and mortgage companies collapsed during the 2008 recession as a result of bad loans (this is of course an oversimplification). The two banks that crashed recently, however, weren’t the victims of credit issues. This is one of the mistakes that many investors make they rely on surface judgments and lead with their emotions. They don’t take the time to build their knowledge and get a better understanding of what they’re looking at. In many areas of life, especially sports, leaning into your emotions can be beneficial. Your finances, however, are not one of these areas. A lack of experience and knowledge leads to fear, which results in compulsive, short-term decision-making that doesn’t work for your long-term financial future. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your wealth.
When you go deeper than the surface level, you can get a more accurate idea of what’s going on. With people, you can get to know them for who they truly are and connect with them on the things that are important. With businesses, and events that affect the markets, a deeper look allows you to make better decisions. When it comes to building wealth, a deeper look with a clear mind will help you to get out of your own way and make the right decisions for you.
From a business perspective, this quarter has seen more positive growth for Julius Wealth Advisors. I’ve been fortunate to have achieved the four-year goal I set for this business in just the first 15 months. A goal I couldn’t have achieved without the support of family, friends, and clients that have already joined me on this journey. Most of the company’s clients have come from referrals, so, if this was you, I owe you a sincere thank you!
This demonstrates that people see the difference in what we’re trying to do and trust in the value that we are able to provide. This is why I started this company, to go against the status quo and to help people overcome their fears and achieve their financial goals. While leading with integrity, knowledge, and passion. Three characteristics that are core values of mine, Julius Wealth Advisors, and ones I feel this industry desperately lacks.
As I also turned 41 during this past quarter, I find myself reflecting on my life so far, and a common trait is that I like to run to situations I feel are broken and fix them. While it only took a couple of seasons to create positive change for my son’s baseball team, I am humble enough to know that fixing this industry will take a while. However, I remain excitedly invigorated to do this one client at a time.
Wealth, like this business, is built over time. So again, I’d like to thank those who have joined me so far, and I’m enthusiastic about welcoming even more along the way.
Despite finding ourselves at the end of the year's first quarter, the year is still young. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow with you for years to come. Remember, though the markets may go up and down, and the headlines will change, our goal at Julius Wealth Advisors is to be with you every step of the way. Through knowledge, passion, and integrity, I await the day that you achieve your financial goals as I have thus far mine.
While I am fairly certain my son's Little League team will have a setback this season, I too am quite certain markets will have their fair share of setbacks at some point as well. However, here's to remaining positive and using all setbacks as a positive tool for long-term growth in our lives, and your wealth creation journey.
All the best,
Jason Blumstein, CFA®
CEO & Founder
Julius Wealth Advisors, LLC
This piece contains general information that is not suitable for everyone and was prepared for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or as an offer to provide investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee any future results. For additional information about Julius Wealth Advisors, including its services and fees, contact us or visit advisorinfo.sec.gov.