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Thoughts From a Treadmill Thumbnail

Thoughts From a Treadmill


Everyone has a thinking spot. Commuters work out those hamster-wheel-spinning thoughts while jamming to tunes on the way home. One of my friends claims her best thinking happens while flat ironing her hair––true story. For me, it’s when I’m on the treadmill. 

This morning, as I hit my stride, a segment on the news about the recent train derailment in Ohio had me pondering how “financial experts” leave investors, me included, feeling as if the market is too risky and uncertain.  In reality, the market has always been risky and uncertain.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t participate.  The risk is precisely the reason we expect to be compensated.  

In East Palestine, many felt the environmental impact and experienced upheaval from their homes.  In the newsroom, pundits discussed the impact of this tragedy on Norfolk Southern’s share price.  Along with other ripple effects felt across the market from this event. 

As I hit the twenty-minute mark, I couldn’t help but wonder how long it would have taken for this story to reach the general public a few years ago.   Nowadays, happenings around the globe are immediately pushed out as a notification to our phones. Sports updates, political maneuvering, and economic events are all reported in real time.   

Negative information and turmoil are primarily what news agencies love discussing­­­­––it keeps people from turning the channel.   Given this dynamic, it’s natural to hesitate investing money into such a precarious landscape.  

Just the other day I spoke with a client in Canada who told me a box of crackers cost $14 at their local store. Again, a box of saltines…fourteen dollars.  She laughed and said, “Jeff, we’re living in crazy times.”  

With stories like these, it certainly feels what way.  

Truthfully, I believe times have always been crazy.  They just feel crazier now.  Our interconnectedness makes the world smaller than ever because we instantly hear about everything, everywhere, all the time.   It can be overwhelming to have so much news and information at our fingertips.   

No matter what news agency you follow, the stories become sensationalized and heighten anxiety for investors.  A company’s incremental improvements are unnoticeable, and rarely newsworthy.  Yet, it’s worth reminding ourselves that these efficiencies are happening daily around the world.   

As a citizen, the revolving news cycle becomes disconcerting.  As an investor, I realize the benefits that come with this continuous flow of information.   The smaller the world, the quicker securities incorporate new information into their price; good or bad.   The challenge for investors is filtering out the unease in a noisy world. 

Hardship, challenges, and opportunities are not new.   We just hear about them more often and with more frequency.  Remember: focus on the trees, not the forest.