End of Year Reflection

Tim Pope |

The end of the year is a natural time for reflection for me personally, professionally, and spiritually. The calendar reminds me of big events that have come and gone. The photos in my phone reminds me of the memories I’ve created with family and friends. The review meetings with clients remind us of how much we’ve accomplished together this year. Reflection helps keep us encouraged, honest and moving in the right direction.

This year, I really wanted to secure my instrument rating. I fly the mighty C172 and I long for something faster and with a higher useful load. The deal that I made with myself requires that I get my instrument rating first. Earlier this year I decided to suspend my instrument training until next summer, when my kids are on summer break.

We home school our children and I’m the math teacher. Between a busy fall review season, preparing for and teaching math class, running my financial planning practice and responsibilities at Church, something had to give. I found a better spot for my instrument training that would allow me to accomplish all the things that are important to me and to maintain the quality of my commitments.

What goals have you accomplished this year? Celebrate those accomplishments. What goals have you deferred this year? What’s your plan to accomplish them in the new time frame that you’ve set? Are there any goals that you are consistently deferring? How come?     

I would be remiss to reflect on this year without reflecting on the markets. What a ride it’s been. And you survived it all. 2022 market challenges include: the war in Ukraine, 40-year high inflation, plunging tech valuations, aggressive monetary policy from the Fed, the drop in bond values, issues in the supply chain, recession, the Crypto industry shake-down with the collapse of a major Crypto exchange and the list goes on.                      

Market volatility (when on a downward trajectory) never feels good but it’s a clear indicator that the markets are functioning as intended. New information and changing conditions will quickly impact the short-term valuation of equities and bonds, which is reflected in the trading price. Throughout the year, you’ve received tips on how to take advantage of this market volatility. Now, it’s time to reflect on how your financial plan guided you through the turbulent times.

  • How did your financial plan give you confidence to pursue what’s important to your family although there was bad news all around?
  •  Did the ability to compare outcomes help you make decisions that allowed you to stay true to yourself without regret or FOMO (fear of missing out). 
  • How did having a financial plan prepare you to navigate the turbulent times vs when you operated without having a plan? 
  • Did having a financial plan help you execute strategies often used in market down-turns? 
  • How did the ability to track your progress towards your goals influence actions you took or did not take?

I hope your reflections of 2022 are valuable and energize you for a goal-crushing 2023. Reflection. Realignment. Continue the Climb.