Categories
Investments

Managing Stress and Anxiety With Your Investments

Managing Stress and Anxiety With Your Investments

“The key to winning is poise under stress” – Paul Brown

3 min read
Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Investing

Managing Stress and Anxiety With Your Investments

“The key to winning is poise under stress” – Paul Brown

3 min read

Investing can be a rollercoaster which is frightening for many, and it is not uncommon for market fluctuations to cause stress and anxiety.

However, understanding the nature of investing can help manage these feelings to ensure your investments cause as little stress and anxiety as possible.

This article will give you the key things you need to know to maximise the enjoyment of your investing journey.

Why Can Investing Be Stressful?

Simply put, investing involves risk and uncertainty, which can be scary.
 
The fear of losing money can lead to stress and anxiety, and watching market volatility and constantly monitoring your portfolio can amplify these feelings.
 
The pressure to make the right investment decisions adds to the stress, as does the overwhelming amount of financial information available.
 
It is also possible to come across people claiming to have an ‘easy investing secret’ to make sure your money ‘only goes in one direction’ (up!) and remove the complexity issue, which can just add to the stress. Have these people really come across a secret that nobody else knows and can solve all your investing problems? The short answer is, no.
 
There are no secrets in the investing world (or at least, very few…) that could have significant impacts on your portfolio. This means that, were such easy tricks to exist, everyone would already be doing it!

The Cyclical Nature of Markets

Markets are inherently cyclical. They go through periods of growth (bull markets) and decline (bear markets). 

If you wake up one day and see your portfolio has dropped by 1%, 3%, or 5%, but then increased by 1%, 3%, or 5% the next day (or higher / lower), do not worry. Behaviour such as this is normal.

Understanding that these cycles are normal and inevitable can help reduce stress.

Over Time Markets Have Gone Up

The good news is that, historically speaking, markets have trended upwards over the longer-term.

Naturally, past performance is not indicative of future returns, but it can be re-assuring for short-term anxiety and stress.

Remember, investing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Avoid Always Checking Your Portfolio

Constantly checking your investments can lead to unnecessary stress. Short-term market fluctuations can be misleading and may prompt impulsive decisions. 

It is easy to become worried if your investments fall for one continuous week (or more), but if your time horizon is in another few years (which it hopefully is!), take time to breathe and relax.

Instead of constantly checking your investment value, set periodic reviews of your portfolio. This approach allows you to stay informed without becoming overwhelmed by daily market movements.

Accept That Your Investments Can Go Down

If you are involved in investing, you will hopefully have been told that your investments can go down.

Accepting that investments can lose value is critical. Markets will have ups and downs, and no investment is risk-free.

By understanding this, you can better prepare mentally for potential losses.

Up, Down, Left, Right, In What Direction Are Your Investments Going?

Investing can be stressful, but understanding market cycles and adopting a long-term perspective is key to managing stress and anxiety from your investments.

In addition, having a trusted Patterson Mills Financial Planner to help you navigate your investment journey can provide much needed peace of mind, especially in periods of low (or even negative) growth.

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting. There has never been a better time to secure your financial future with Patterson Mills.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Investments

How Does Monetary Policy Impact You?

How Does Monetary Policy Impact You?

“Fiscal policy, monetary policy, they need to work together to try and raise the level of growth” – Joe Hockey

3 min read
Monetary Policy

How Does Monetary Policy Impact You?

“Fiscal policy, monetary policy, they need to work together to try and raise the level of growth” – Joe Hockey
 
3 min read

Monetary policy refers to the actions undertaken by a country’s central bank to control the money supply, manage interest rates, and achieve macroeconomic goals such as controlling inflation, consumption, growth, and liquidity.

Central banks, such as the Swiss National Bank (SNB) or Bank of England (BoE), use tools like interest rate adjustments, open market operations, and reserve requirements to influence the economy.

However, once you’ve got through all of the theory, terminology and over-complexities, how does monetary policy really impact your day-to-day life? Read below to find out!

Monetary Policy Explained

In its simplest form, monetary policy is all about using various tools to stabilise prices, improve economic stability and promote sustainable growth.
 
The objectives of monetary policy are to control inflation, ensure stable economic growth, and maintain low unemployment. 
 
Central banks use various tools, including interest rate adjustments, open market operations, and changes in reserve requirements, to influence the availability and cost of money in the economy. 
 
By doing so, they aim to stabilise prices, create economic stability, and promote sustainable growth, which is exactly what monetary policy is all about!
 
Understanding monetary policy helps you, as an individual, and businesses anticipate changes in borrowing costs, savings returns, and overall economic conditions.

The Impact of Monetary Policy

Monetary policy has several impacts.

Lowering interest rates can stimulate economic growth by making borrowing cheaper, encouraging spending and investment.

Conversely, raising interest rates can ‘cool’ an ‘overheating’ economy and control inflation by making borrowing more expensive. 

As well as the above, monetary policy can affect exchange rates; lower interest rates may weaken a currency, making exports cheaper and imports more expensive.

Monetary policy also influences employment levels. Expansionary policies can reduce unemployment by boosting economic activity, while contractionary policies may increase unemployment if they slow down the economy too much.

The central bank’s decisions can significantly shape overall economic confidence and financial market stability.

The Pros & Cons

Now onto the pros and cons, starting with the pros.

One major advantage of monetary policy is its ability to quickly influence the economy.

Central banks can swiftly implement changes to interest rates or engage in open market operations to address economic issues. This flexibility allows for timely responses to economic shocks or downturns.

Monetary policy can also be a powerful tool for controlling inflation. By adjusting interest rates, central banks can manage demand and keep inflation within target ranges.

Effective monetary policy can cause stable economic growth, contributing to long-term prosperity and financial stability.

However, despite its benefits, monetary policy has limitations.

It may not be effective in addressing supply-side economic issues, such as productivity constraints or structural unemployment.

Furthermore, in periods of very low interest rates, the central bank’s ability to stimulate the economy can be limited, a situation known as a liquidity trap.

Monetary policy can also lead to unintended consequences. For example, keeping interest rates too low for too long can create asset bubbles, which can burst and lead to economic instability.

Moreover, rapid changes in monetary policy can cause uncertainty and volatility in financial markets, potentially harming economic growth.

Difference Between Monetary Policy & Fiscal Policy

Fiscal and monetary policies are both tools used by governments and central banks to influence a country’s economy, but they operate in different ways and are managed by different entities.

You can view last week’s article on Fiscal Policy by clicking here.

However, the key differences are:

  • Control: Fiscal policy is under the control of the government, while monetary policy is managed by the central bank.
  • Methods: Fiscal policy uses taxation and spending, whereas monetary policy uses interest rates and money supply management.
  • Direct vs Indirect Impact: Fiscal policy can have a direct impact on public services and individual finances, while monetary policy typically works through the financial system to influence the economy indirectly.

How Does Monetary Policy Impact YOU

The key way monetary policy directly affects you is through changes in interest rates. 

Lower interest rates mean cheaper loans and mortgages, which can boost spending and investment. However, they also result in lower returns on savings, which can impact retirees and savers. In addition, the opposite is true with higher interest rates!

Inflation control is another critical aspect. Effective monetary policy keeps inflation in check which preserves the purchasing power of your money. Conversely, poor monetary policy can lead to high inflation, eroding savings and increasing living costs.

Monetary policy can also influence job opportunities and wages. Expansionary policies can lead to more job creation and potentially higher wages, while contractionary policies might have the opposite effect, impacting overall economic wellbeing.

Managing Your Own Monetary Policy

Whilst you may be unable to influence central bank decisions, you can influence your own financial decisions.

Knowing where to start is key, and having a Patterson Mills Adviser provides you with this key to a brighter financial future.

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.

Categories
Investments

How Does Fiscal Policy Impact You?

How Does Fiscal Policy Impact You?

“Fiscal policy, monetary policy, they need to work together to try and raise the level of growth” – Joe Hockey

3 min read
Fiscal Policy: How Does It Impact You

How Does Fiscal Policy Impact You?

“Fiscal policy, monetary policy, they need to work together to try and raise the level of growth” – Joe Hockey
 
3 min read

Fiscal policy, a critical component of economic management, involves the government’s use of spending and taxation to influence economic conditions.

Whilst fiscal policy is a tool utilised by governments, it is important to understand what it is, the pros and cons, and, importantly, how it impacts you.

Those are exactly what you will find out below, so read on!

Fiscal Policy Explained

In its simplest form, fiscal policy refers to the use of government spending and taxation to influence a country’s economy.

It’s a key tool for managing economic performance, aiming to achieve sustainable growth, high employment, and stable prices.

The government adjusts its levels of expenditure and tax rates to monitor and influence a nation’s economy. This approach contrasts with monetary policy, which involves the central bank’s management of interest rates and money supply, and which will have its own article!

The Impact of Fiscal Policy

Fiscal policy’s influence extends beyond immediate economic metrics.

For instance, increased government spending on infrastructure projects not only boosts short-term employment but also enhances long-term productivity by improving transportation and communication networks. This can make a country more attractive to investors, creating sustainable economic growth.

Conversely, tax hikes can dampen consumer spending and business investment, potentially leading to a slowdown in economic activity and affecting the stock market.

Furthermore, fiscal policy decisions can have significant social impacts. Government spending on items such as healthcare, education, and social security can improve quality of life and reduce income inequality. 

However, these benefits must be balanced against the risks of increasing public debt. High levels of debt can limit future fiscal flexibility and may lead to higher taxes or reduced spending on essential services, impacting economic stability and growth prospects. 

The interplay between fiscal policy and social outcomes underscores the complexity of crafting policies that balance short-term economic needs with long-term sustainability.

It can certainly be a complex area through which to navigate, and if you are interested in learning more we encourage you to get in touch with Patterson Mills.

The Pros & Cons

One significant advantage of fiscal policy is its ability to target specific sectors or groups within the economy. For example, during a recession, the government can increase spending on infrastructure projects, directly creating jobs and stimulating demand.

Fiscal policy can also provide immediate relief to the economy through tax cuts or increased public spending and the government to address income inequality by adjusting tax rates and providing social benefits.

Despite its benefits, fiscal policy has several drawbacks. One major issue is the time lag between the implementation of policy changes and their effects on the economy. This delay can make it challenging to time interventions effectively. Additionally, excessive government spending can lead to large budget deficits and increased national debt, which may have long-term negative effects on the economy. Political considerations can also influence fiscal policy, sometimes leading to suboptimal economic decisions driven by electoral cycles rather than economic needs.

How Does Fiscal Policy Impact YOU

Essentially, fiscal policy directly affects you through any changes in taxation and government spending.

Tax cuts increase your disposable income whilst tax increases decrease your disposable income.

Government spending on public services, infrastructure and social programs can improve your quality of life and economic opportunities.

It also extends to your employment prospects and wage growth. When the government implements expansionary fiscal policy (increasing spending or cutting taxes), businesses often experience higher demand for their products or services which can lead to job creation and potentially higher wages.

On the other hand, contractionary fiscal policy can result in the opposite.

Finally, fiscal policy influences the broader economic environment in which you make financial decisions. For example, government investments in education and training programs can enhance your skills and employability, opening up new career opportunities and potentially higher earnings. Infrastructure projects funded by government spending can reduce commuting times and improve access to markets and services, indirectly benefiting your personal and professional life.

However, fiscal mismanagement, leading to high inflation or debt crises, can erode your savings and reduce the purchasing power of your income, highlighting how important fiscal policy is for you and other individuals.

Managing Your Own Fiscal Policy

Whilst you may be unable to influence government decisions outside of the voting booth, you can influence your own spending and, importantly, how you build wealth.

Investing is a great way to start, and for the best possible chance of success, having a Patterson Mills Adviser is paramount.

Get in touch with us today and book your initial, no-cost and no-obligation meeting.

Send us an e-mail to contactus@pattersonmills.ch or call us direct at +41 21 801 36 84 and we shall be pleased to assist you.

Please note that all content within this article has been prepared for information purposes only. This article does not constitute financial, legal or tax advice. Always ensure you speak to a regulated Financial Adviser before making any financial decisions.