There are a lot of experts who think the market is going to crash, potentially big time, in 2016.

The Sovereign Investor Daily warns that “80% Stock Market Crash to Strike in 2016, Economist Warns.” Fortune splashes this headline: “Analyst: Here Comes the Biggest Stock Market Crash in a Generation.”

All you have to do is Goggle “is the stock market going to crash in 2016” and you’re going to get an explosion of articles that say, basically, “yes it is.”

Okay. Over the past twelve years, I have talked to thousands of people, and one of the main themes is about how us risk-adverse folks don’t like the roller coaster ride of the stock market. But as people fasten their seat belts and get ready for another wild ride down the track, I want to talk about something that we all need to think about when it comes to money—yours, mine, your financial strategist’s or representative’s—especially in these uncertain financial times.

The “Golden Rule.” We all know it: Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you.
When things are scary, how do you want to be treated? I’m betting that you want someone who is compassionate, who is polite and treats you with dignity.

When the world seems uncertain, what would you prefer? Someone who comes in and tells you how you should think or act or someone who is honest, fair, and cares about your feelings and what you think?

Most of the people I’ve met are always going to choose the latter.

How does this relate to how you handle your money—not just what you’re spending but what you’re saving and how you’re saving it? In every way possible.

We are definitely living in uncertain financial times. If you have money in a qualified plan that is tied directly to the stock market, you’re nervous. If you have a chunk of your portfolio in the stock market, I bet you’re really tense. Because of this, you don’t want a “pitch.” You want the truth about the various ways you can protect that money. You want to know what the savings plan entails, how much it costs you both in the short term and over the long haul. You want to know how your money is protected—or not—and if there are any guarantees associated with the products you’re looking at.

Anyone who helps you with your money decisions should have your best interests at heart. There are a ton of savings vehicles out there. Some are better than others. But all of them need to have an understanding, caring individual who is willing to take the time to explain to you the good, the bad, and if necessary, the ugly.

Yes, the person you’re talking to is going to make money if you choose to go with them. That’s a given. But it’s not a given that they will disclose how much they will make—and if they aren’t willing to do that, maybe they’re not being honest with you.

I have said it thousands of times, there is no such thing as a perfect place to put your money. But there are good people who help people with their money who truly care. Some work in the area of stock market investing—the brokers and investment advisers. Some work in the area of insurance—agents. I have seen advisers and agents battle over who is better or who knows more. They can argue that all they want—it isn’t going to help you.

For in the end, what matters is finding out if the person you’re dealing with cares about you. Your money is important, and because of that, you should be treated with compassion, respect, and kindness. You should be told the truth, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask a ton of questions about how a financial product works. It’s scary enough out there. You should feel that the person who is helping you values you—not just your money.

I wish you well on your journey.


Merle Gilley