With the children finishing school and starting their half term holidays last week, I thought I would take a couple of days off and have a short break (which was more realistically a long weekend, but welcome nonetheless).
It is always more difficult planning trips at this time of year as the weather is just so unpredictable, however, we booked our trip and thought, nevertheless, it was our last chance to enjoy the remains of the longer days before the end of British summer time. Typically, it just so happened that that our trip would coincide with the worst storm forecast for a number of years and we were bombarded with news of potential travel chaos. My initial thoughts at the start of the week were, ‘was it time to change plans and just spend the time at home?’ but as the weather forecasters kept telling us that the storm was likely only to impact the South, we kept to our plans and had a very enjoyable time.
In view of the excessive negative broadcasts, I could easily have changed my plans and not gone anywhere; whilst I would still have enjoyed the time at home with my family, we all certainly enjoyed the time away much more. This got me thinking…… the potential “great storm” of 2013 seemed to round up the last five years in the financial markets. Whilst the storm did bring disruption, power cuts and travel difficulties for commuters, just 48 hours later, power has been restored, railways and roads have been cleared of trees and debris, and life has started getting back to normal.
In the investment world, the markets too have undergone similar turmoil (albeit over a longer period of time) but with the rate of unemployment now falling and economic data improving, there is belief that the worst could now behind us.
This serves to show that for those who have stuck to a well formulated financial plan and have not made any sudden changes through difficult times, they should have remained firmly on course to fund their children’s school fees, retire early or achieve whatever their goal may have been. However for those who made impulse decisions and changed plans right in the middle of the storm, they may still now be picking up the pieces and trying to rebuild.
It seems that the storm therefore served as a welcome reminder - stick to your plan and do not make any changes on impulse. As long as the planning strategy is right, the result should come good in the end.