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Hush. Be still

Recently, I have taken time off from writing Biblical Money articles. Family, clients, markets, business or something is always pressing. However, I have missed the study, prayer, and thought that goes into writing the articles.

These recent markets have shocked me into remembering the importance of communicating the Biblical part of money management. I don't believe that I forgot; I only thought that I could steer the boat.
 These markets of August and September have been far more difficult to manage investments than the difficult 2008/2009 markets. Those markets had a clear direction - DOWN. "Get out the way" was the best decision then.
 In the recent 3 months we heard as much good news as bad. The markets, gyrating, seemed to go down on good news, up on bad, then sideways for no reason. The gains piled up early in the quarter, like the cresting of a wave dropping to a trough, before losing 17% in weeks (S&P 500). The lowest point of the storm slammed down at 19% (S&P 500). There were far more 100 point days of gains and losses than what is historically normal.
 This made short term investment decisions difficult and the stress high. Some of the nation’s top investors were publically blasted for their losses. The Media seemed to enjoy their floundering in this hurricane.
 Do not confuse short term investment decisions with long term planning decisions, which are much more important and substantial. In these times, that is easier said than done.
 Recently, I read the story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4 of the Bible. He and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee. He took a nap, being tired from loving and serving people. A sudden and huge storm blew up, threatening to overturn their boat and drowning the men. Storms are typical on that sea and in life, similar to a market loss of 19%. His men frantically woke Jesus, asking Him "Don’t you care about us?" Of course He did and still does. He simply stood and told the storm to "Hush! Be still."

P.S.: At the writing of this article the markets have made a comeback in the month of October. They are starting to be volatile again in November. The positive return is good, it has been a great return, and it feels good. We want to participate some in this return. However, it is our opinion that the markets have the potential to still be volatile and recommend caution. This has been a big reminder that storms in life happen, and storms in the market happen. Expect and prepare for that.

October 11, 2011

Investment Advisory Services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc. (“SFSG”), a Registered Investment Adviser. Certain representatives of SFSG are also Registered Representatives offering securities through APW Capital, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, 100 Enterprise Drive, Suite 504, Rockaway, NJ 07866 (800)637-3211. SFSG and APW Capital are separate and unrelated companies. 

The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by APW Capital.

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