The Who from: Who’s Next (1971)
It’s a glorious day for a hike on your favorite trail. Suddenly you find yourself on high alert as a black bear crosses your path. Your natural fight-or-flight response takes over because we are hard-wired to react in a crisis. That black bear is like ‘looming’ inflation or a ‘coming’ market crash that financial pundits write about to attract our attention. The bear is unlikely to maul us, but we are not going to hang around to find out. That same instinct makes us want to flee our investments when there is a perceived threat to our financial well-being.
Regardless of your preferred news source, whether CNN, Fox News, Facebook, or the Apple news feed, their goal is to keep you watching. The psychology behind catastrophizing journalism is driven by our fears and uncertainty. All of media is paid to keep us coming back to see the products their sponsors are selling. According to BusinessWire.com, the global media market was a $1.1 trillion market in 2019. Add in online behemoths such as Facebook, Google, and others, it becomes a multi-trillion-dollar market. There is a LOT of money to be made in attracting your attention.
We recognize you don’t have ice water in your veins. At Westfield Financial Planning, one of our primary responsibilities is to help keep you on track so you do not abandon your well-thought-out financial plan when the world gets scary.
Mark F. Swingle, CFP ® and the Westfield Financial Planning team