Don’t Swing at a Knuckleball

By Jamie Ostrander

Do not swing at a knuckleball. A knuckleball pitch is unpredictable; the catcher does not know where the pitch will end up. The umpire has no idea where it will end up. Even more shocking, the pitcher barely knows where it’s going and he threw it! The knuckleball follows no flight path, it does not spin. The wind resistance pushes it up and down and side to side. Where it lands no one knows. It dances, darts and most importantly confounds.

We are asked often about the unpredictability of the market.  The market moves unpredictably, like a knuckleball. It is natural after all, to be curious about the unknowable. Does anyone reading this know where the S&P will be in 36 months? How about 12 months? The honest answer is, no one knows! Yet, many magazine subscriptions are sold on the basis of the great prognostications of the knowing. Once in a while there is a market soothsayer that makes a prediction that turns out to be correct. Similar to a hitter making contact with a knuckleball, it is more attributable to luck than skill. They may get a noteworthy hit, but they will not last as a “big league hitter” swinging at a knuckleball.

There’s an old colloquialism, “Life throws you a curve ball”. You can hit the curveball with practice and skill, but it’s the knuckleball and its unpredictable path that we need to plan around. You can increase your chances of success by reducing the variability and defining success ahead of time. Getting caught flat footed is no way to deal with unpredictable life circumstances. Reacting to the market or life circumstances is not a plan.

It is in your best interest to be proactive in planning for what you can control. The market can be volatile, more importantly, life can be volatile, but these are the changes for which you can plan. Retirement can be planned for; aging, gifting strategies and transitioning your business to a new owner are examples of large financial events for which you can create an action plan.

In order to gain clarity and confidence in your planning, we always start at the beginning with “why?”  Too often investors react to market movements, or find themselves forced into an ultimatum financially because they did not plan ahead, they end up swinging at pitches they never intended to.

Here at FirstWave Financial our complimentary consultations all start with a question.  We focus on why you are setting out to achieve the difficult task of accomplishing a goal, and why you have the goal in the first place. How you will achieve it becomes much clearer, with the end in mind. Sometimes the how is to not swing at all.

How do you gain confidence and clarity that you will achieve success as you personally define it? Start with why, and don’t swing at a knuckleball.  Call our wealth services firm in Satellite Beach, FL – Melbourne/Brevard area today to set up your complementary initial consultation at 321-773-7773.

You should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this publication serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from FirstWave Financial. A copy of FirstWave Financial’s current written disclosure statement discussing their advisory services and fees is available upon request.

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