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Annual Market Review 2020

Over the past 12 months, we have endured a global pandemic resulting in numerous deaths and hospitalizations, mass layoffs, a sinking economy, and a contentious presidential election. Our lives and lifestyles changed, where working and learning from home became the "new normal," and in-person communication was replaced by virtual meetings. In short, 2020 was a very memorable year that tested our resolve, patience, and courage.

Who Gets What, When?

It won’t always be easy, but it’s worth deciding how you want to share your legacy so the process goes smoothly.

Holding Equities for the Long Term: Time vs. Timing

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is famous for his long-term perspective. He has said that he likes to make investments he would be comfortable holding even if the market shut down for 10 years. Investing with an eye to the long term is particularly important with stocks. Historically, equities have typically outperformed bonds, cash, and inflation, though past performance is no guarantee of future results and those returns also have involved higher volatility. It can be challenging to have Buffett-like patience during periods such as 2000-2002, when the stock market fell for 3 years in a row, or 2008, which was the worst year for the Standard & Poor's 500* since the Depression era. Times like those can frazzle the nerves of any investor, even the pros. With stocks, having an investing strategy is only half the battle; the other half is being able to stick to it.

Science-Backed Ways to Reframe a Negative Mindset

Do you sometimes face a flood of anxious thoughts as soon as your head hits the pillow, or struggle to get a negative interaction out of your mind? You can thank your brain’s negativity bias, left over from prehistoric times when humans faced life-threatening scenarios daily. Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson says that this means your brain is “like Velcro for bad experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.” While this is meant to keep you safe, it can be draining to ruminate endlessly about events out of your control (COVID-19 and market volatility, we’re looking at you). That’s why many successful people talk about the steps they’ve taken to overcome negativity bias, from Oprah Winfrey to Richard Branson. The following are seven research-backed and social-distancing-safe ways to help shake off the rain clouds.

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