As we bid farewell to the scorching days of summer and welcome the vibrant hues and chilly nights of autumn, we find ourselves in a season of change. Just as nature transforms its colors and sheds its leaves in preparation for winter, the fall season is an excellent time to reflect on our financial health and adapt to the shifts that life brings.
The fall season kicks off with festivities such as Halloween and apple picking, which leads us into Thanksgiving and, ultimately, the winter holidays. It is a time in which we often celebrate with friends and family, loosening our purse strings in the process. However, with a well-prepared budget, you can go about navigating this celebratory and giving season without overspending. Planning your expenses for the season early by setting limits for gifts and decorations and pre-allocating funds for travel and leisure can help ensure that the season is both fun and doesn’t break the bank.
As the temperatures start to drop, so do the leaves. Just as trees shed their leaves to fortify themselves before the winter, so too should we look to fortify our financial health. Taking this time to ensure that emergency funds are both sufficient to cover unexpected costs and well protected against market volatility can help safeguard against the unknown. This can also allow for a better ease of mind and empower you to take on those unknown factors with confidence.
The falling leaves remind us that change is constant, and this is no less true in our investment portfolios than in nature. Changing markets and differing returns can, over time, shift the risk in a portfolio in unexpected ways. Fall can be taken as a timely opportunity to consider your investment objectives and how your portfolio helps to achieve those goals. If your portfolio has moved away from target, now could be a good time to look at correcting for these changing objectives. Proper portfolio diversification can help mitigate volatile market movements, but it is also important to review this diversification regularly so that it is efficiently implemented and may protect against future risks as well as past ones.
As we embrace the beauty and changes of the fall season, let’s also embrace the opportunity to nurture our financial health. Budgeting for the holidays, building financial resilience, and reviewing goals and diversification are all vital aspects of this journey. Just as the leaves fall gracefully from the trees, so can we adapt to financial changes, help secure our future goals, and enjoy the vibrant moments that life offers. We hope this season brings you not only the beauty of nature’s transformation but also an opportunity for personal growth and financial well-being.
Carey S. Blakley, CFA