Retirement Read Time: 2 min

Bull & Baird: Anxiety

Anxiety is an insidious emotion.   

It comes out of nowhere and—if left unchecked—can overwhelm rational thought. When it comes to your money, nothing ramps up anxiety faster than reading about a bank run. “Is my money safe?” Once planted, the question can grow like a weed in your mind. 

Do you know how many bank failures there have been since 2009? 513. 73 in the past decade alone, with two of the biggest happening just this year. The world breaks all the time, the financial system strains and stretches, and if you wanted to be afraid you could be afraid every single day. If you let anxiety get the best of you, your money could end up in a mattress (where it would have earned significantly less than the S&P 500’s +312% since Lehmann Brothers collapsed in 2008).   

Instead of putting your money in that mattress, remember that we learn from the past, especially when it comes to things like bank regulation and protecting deposits. The response to the 2008 crisis was often slow and clunky; the response to SVB was swift and reasonable. Let the lessons of history ease your anxiety, not stoke it.  

There will always be an element of trust inherent in a financial system. My 401k sits with an Asset Manager and represents a significant portion of my lifetime savings. I feel safe with it there because the company has proven to have robust risk management, a leadership team that understands what they’re good at, clear communication with clients, and a reputation for being conservatively run. My trust has been earned by that company through their actions and their communication with me. 

It’s the same for Baird. Those same risk-mitigating qualities have gotten us and our clients through the darkest of times, including the Great Financial Crisis and COVID. As the world shuddered in 2008 and it seemed like the financial system was falling apart, I felt confident that a conservatively run financial services firm was the best place to be, and so did our clients. And when the world shuttered in 2020, I had the same confidence.

Risk is an ever-present thing in our lives. Walking out the door is risky, getting in a car is risky, investing your money in the stock market is risky. You can never fully eliminate risk from your life, but you can partner with institutions with a conservative track record. You can ask, “how do you keep my money safe?” and expect a careful answer that makes sense.

It’s normal to be anxious sometimes, but in the world of money and finance you can’t let anxiety overwhelm you. That’s when we start to make bad choices. If you’re feeling nervous, reach out and talk to us. We’ve been here before, and we’ll be here again the next time something crazy happens.  

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