Almost a month ago here at Flexible Plan one of our new hires that had moved in over the summer from the south happened to mention that their lawn service had just done a fall clean up on their fallen leaves. I returned his statement with a perplexed stare. Fall clean up…in September? Not in Michigan!A few leaves may fall in Michigan in September, but they just keep falling… and falling, until November. I know he was excited to finally have four real seasons – and fall is one of the best – so I can understand why he wanted to jump right into the “leaf thing.” But if you’re going to clean your lawn each time a rain brings down a few leaves, you’re going to have to do it every week for about three months, and that’s exhausting and expensive!
Better to do it just once. Enjoy scuffling around in the newly fallen leaves (they’re noisiest before the rain gets to them), hear the crackle; smell the earthy aroma as it wafts up from the ground. Make some bonfires and feel the sting of the smoke in your eyes. Savor the season. Then bring the clean-up crew in and pick the leaves up in one last gasp of fall as the icy breath of winter begins to blow.
At least that’s how I do it.
The financial landscape is a lot like my backyard in the fall. The look changes weekly. New leaves come down, blow about, are crushed, and get wet and soggy, then are covered by the next batch of newly fallen victims, and each new collection from the branches above is a fresh color – browns, and golds, oranges and red.
In the financial markets what is worrisome one week is soon crushed to the ground and covered with a new batch – sometimes with new worries, other times with new opportunities. This week we saw the scare tactics frightening the market suddenly blown away to be replaced with new hope for the future. Another less-than 5% decline in the S&P 500, our fifth this year – a mere blip on the charts – converted almost overnight into a new all-time high!
All the best,