6 quotes from financial planners that will make you feel a bit more optimistic about the future

woman working using microphone headset financial planner

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  • Things look bad on many fronts at the moment - financial and otherwise - but looking toward brighter days can help us carry on.
  • We asked financial planners to tell us what makes them optimistic about the future - they cited innovation, our nation's resiliency, and the upward trend of the markets as their bright spots.
  • One also told us about a client who reminded her that the Earth was experiencing a break from emissions, a definite glass-half-full outlook.
  • SmartAsset's free tool can find a financial planner to help you take control of your money »

In these uncertain, coronavirus-fueled times, the one thing that's clear is the world could really use some good news. 

Some folks are facing reduced hours due to the outbreak, many are out of work entirely, and even those who are still employed are likely finding it hard to focus on work as the market continues to vacillate. In short, we all need something to look forward to that doesn't involve constantly refreshing our investment accounts and blindly hoping for a miracle.Advertisement

With that in mind, we turned to an unexpected source for a burst of optimism - financial planners. We asked a group of experts to contextualize this crisis for us, and they happily agreed, providing a range of calm, level-headed responses that are downright encouraging. 

There's a lot to be nervous about at the moment, but if some of the smartest, steadiest minds in the financial industry are feeling hopeful about the future, we're inclined to follow their lead.

Tough times tend to breed innovation

"Americans are innovative and we dislike having our wings clipped, or our freedoms taken away from us," said Lynn Ballou, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), senior vice president, and partner at EP Wealth Advisors. "During this time there are great ideas being hatched, and when we emerge from this incredibly difficult time, I'm excited to see what innovations will unfold, as they're sure to lead to amazing investment opportunities."
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Our nation is resilient, and shared traumas tend to unite us

Wealth Hacker Labs founder Jeff Rose, CFP, provided a reminder that our nation has endured unimaginable trauma already: "Nineteen years ago, I saw two commercial airliners crash into the Twin Towers in New York City," Rose said. "What followed afterwards was complete panic - the stock market closed for five days and the sell-off afterwards felt like it would never end. That was how my financial adviser career began and, back then, I believed it would be my shortest employment ever. I'm glad my hunch was wrong, because the markets more than recovered. Most importantly, our country recovered. And our country will recover from this, too."

Dollar-cost averaging will prevail

Oddly enough, for the financial markets, it can sometimes be about quantity, not quality. "Of course, no one likes to log into their accounts and see red," said Marguerita Cheng, CFP and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. "But remember, it's not about trying to time the market, rather the time in the market. The best way to participate in the market recovery is to stay invested, so don't neglect your ongoing contributions. If you can maintain some level of 401(k) contributions or investment savings, you can invest at the dips. When the equity markets do recover, you will emerge with more shares."

Not all businesses and investors will take losses

Eric Roberge, CFP and founder of Beyond Your Hammock, pointed out that there will be those who take losses in the market, but that it's far from a certainty across the board: "If there are losers, there are winners, too. We fully expect there to be businesses that thrive in response to the current crises. While a few industries might find themselves diminishing, others will flourish."Advertisement

History shows us there's a light at the end of the tunnel

If you start feeling overwhelmed, your best option might be to think bigger. "Market declines are not fun to experience and when you're going through it, it can feel like recovery from the worst just isn't possible," Roberge said. "Historically, though, we can see that markets do recover. Even after steep declines, equities have generally delivered strong returns one, three, and five years after a downturn."

The glass can still be half-full

When Kristen Euretig, CFP and founder and CEO of Brooklyn Plans, is looking for a little reassurance, sometimes she gets it from unexpected places - like her own client base: "Two different clients of mine who I checked in with this week said something surprising to me: that at least the Earth was getting a break from emissions and human harm during this time - what a way to look at the glass as half-full!"

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