“We can only know that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” (Leo Tolstoy)
As financial advisors, we do a lot. We help you plan and achieve your financial goals, navigate through periods of economic uncertainty, market volatility, and changing geopolitical conditions, and more. We believe that part of our responsibility is to enhance financial literacy, particularly your understanding of contemporary topics that may cause anxiety. Inflation is one of these topics. We will be writing a series of five special reports over the next several months to create greater clarity with your financial planning. After all, knowledge is power!
Ultimately, we have five primary goals:
1. Furnish important information – We’ll define the basic definitions, causes, and implications of inflation. This is a meaningful place to start and serves as a valuable baseline from which to build upon.
2. Connect on its impact – Inflation impacts you, your household, and your business financially, psychologically, or both. With inflation at levels unseen since the 1980’s, we know you are feeling it. We understand this and want you to know that we have your back. We are here to help you adapt.
3. Provide perspective – Our reports will educate you on the Federal Reserve and monetary policy. We will compare two competing economic theories that drive government fiscal policy on spending, taxes, and regulations. These theories are implemented by government leaders. They directly influence the economy and have an indirect impact on inflation.
As well, we think that there are lessons to be learned by understanding the past. Therefore, we will provide an historical view of environments with pricing pressures. For example, you may recall what inflation was like in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. It was not fun to live through. While we are not predicting a return to these conditions, having greater insight will hopefully help with your unique financial objectives.
4. Manage expectations – Along with a proper perspective of past inflations, comes the reality of numerous probable outcomes for this period of inflation. In other words, let’s be prepared for the unexpected. As an example, take meteorologists predicting an upcoming huge winter storm. Sometimes they are right on target with their predictions yet at other times they over or under-estimate the severity by a wide margin. The same holds true with predicting the extended impact or duration of inflation. The monetary levers that may be used to control and contain it may lead to unpredictable outcomes with unintended consequences. Global events such as war and abrupt supply chain constraints, can be additional wildcards. Environments with rising inflation often raises concerns over looming uncertainty and markets do not like this.
Economies are very complex and dynamic. Evolving conditions can either be good, bad, or insignificant. Our aim is to provide you with updated information for useful consideration. We will do this with integrity and compassion with the utmost intent to keep you informed, calm, and focused on what matters most, your financial objectives.
5. Provide a general roadmap – We will review financial planning and portfolio management techniques to mitigate the risks associated with inflation. You are likely already implementing many of these strategies. Understanding where you are on the map should reinforce your sense of confidence or choices that need to be made to do the same. Through clarity, you will know which roads to take to “get there!”
This series on inflation is intended to be matter-of-fact and nonpartisan. While economics and politics are intertwined, please understand that these are not political reports. We are seasoned professionals and stay in our lane.
As always, our mission is to help set the best course for you with proper, on-going planning, and effective communication for what may lie ahead!
1st report – What is Inflation? Coming soon.
Barry E. Moschel, Partner, RICP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CPA
Adam L. Schwartz, Partner, CFP®, NSSA®
Tom Manno, Partner, CFP®, CPFA™