Quarterly news & updates
March, 2020 | Issue 5
Coping with Financial Anxiety in Uncertain Times
As news of the coronavirus continues to dominate the headlines and cause turmoil in the markets , it’s understandable that you may be concerned about your portfolio. Financial anxiety can have a profound impact on your quality of life—so we thought we’d share some tips to help you minimize stress during these uncertain times:

Focus on the long term
When the markets are swinging up and down, it’s hard to concentrate on long-term objectives. But remember that your investments are structured to meet the needs of your personal situation—factoring in your long-term goals, your risk tolerance, and your time horizon.

Depending on your circumstances, you may have investments allocated for specific goals and needs. Investments for long-term goals are typically invested more aggressively, which means they can be—and probably have been—more volatile. Keep in mind that you likely won’t need to liquidate these assets in the immediate future, so there is time for them to recover from their losses and potentially grow even more. Alternatively, investments that support short-term needs are generally invested in strategies that seek to reduce volatility and risk.

It’s normal to feel like the markets will rise forever during bullish periods or drop until they’re worthless once things take a negative turn. Although we can’t predict when the coronavirus threat will end, you may find comfort in knowing that we’ve experienced similar market movements, from similar threats, in the not-too-distant past: In 2015–2016, the Zika virus sent markets down 12.9 percent. The SARS virus, in 2003, resulted in a 12.8 percent decline for the S&P 500. We’ve seen this before—and we’ve made it through to the other side.

Take care of yourself
Anxiety of any sort can have negative effects on your health. In the short term, it can cause irritability, headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, fatigue, and many other symptoms. Longer-term chronic stress can lead to more serious afflictions, like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

The markets and economy are certainly not worth risking your health, so it’s important to take care of yourself during this stressful period. Try getting outside for some fresh air, taking a daily walk, riding a bike, or eating healthy foods. You can also try relaxation techniques, like meditation, yoga, massage, or deep breathing. Getting plenty of sleep is important, too. If the evening news is causing you alarm and keeping you up at night, consider reading an enjoyable book instead.
Mind your media usage and look for positive distractions
If you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media on your phone or glued to the TV screen, there’s no doubt you will be inundated with stories of gloom and doom. Some media outlets tend to sensationalize stories to attract a larger audience. This can cause unnecessary alarm. If you feel you must check the headlines, try visiting the websites of more trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization . They will have the most up-to-date news on the coronavirus, along with tips to protect yourself.

It’s also good to find positive distractions, like watching an upbeat movie, listening to your favorite music, or talking with friends and family.

Count on us
We take our commitment to our clients seriously—especially in times like this. We recognize that the market volatility and other issues beyond our control can cause emotional strain. And that’s why The Wealth Transition Collective is here for you no matter what concerns you have, whether you’re worried about the economy, the markets, or your personal situation. We’re just a phone call away if you need us.
March is Credit Education Month
National Credit Education Month provides opportunities to brush up on your finance skills. Check your credit score and find out why it’s important to keep a clear credit report. Even more important, find out how to improve it.

What Affects Credit Scores
  • Amount of debt you carry – Paying off the amount you charge to your credit cards each month helps to improve this amount. Showing that you are reducing debt each month gradually increases your score over time.
  • Age of credit history – The older your credit history (and the longer it is in good standing) shows a trend toward reliable financial standing.
  • Reports to collections agencies – Any inaccurate reporting to a credit agency needs to be reported immediately. The sooner you resolve an inaccuracy, the quicker your credit report can be corrected. Obtain a letter from the collection agency once you have been able to confirm the error and submit it to all the credit reporting agencies.
  • Late payments – Any time you make a late payment, especially on a credit card or loan, this will be reflected on your credit report. Pay early, pay on time. If you use your online banking system to make payments, remember to review your banks turn-around-time for payments. Take their delays into account and schedule accordingly to avoid any late payments.
  • The number of hard inquiries for credit – If you are considering a loan for a car or house, each inquiry will be registered on your credit report. When your credit is in good standing, it doesn’t have a big impact.
  • The number of accounts – Opening and closing accounts can have an impact on your credit score. Depending on the number of accounts, the impact on your score could be huge.

Throughout the month, take steps to learn more about handling credit. See what you can do to improve your credit score and gauge how you are doing.
6 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health
Have you ever noticed that you feel better when you’re around your pet?

It’s true. Spending quality time with a dog, cat or other animal can have a positive impact on your mood and your health. Pets can be calming stress-fighters.

“We found that pet owners, on average, were better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets,” says pet researcher Allen R. McConnell, PhD. He’s a professor of psychology at Miami University. “What [makes] a meaningful relationship varies from person to person”.

For some active people, that includes playing ball or Frisbee in the park. For others who can’t get outside, just petting your dog can help you feel connected. Pets can help in other ways, too.

1.       A Healthier Heart
Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease. Why? Dog owners walk more and have lower blood pressure than people who don’t have dogs. Pets can also be good for you if you already have heart problems. Heart attack survivors and people with serious abnormal heart rhythms who own dogs live longer than people with the same heart problems who don’t have pets, studies shows.

2.       Stress Soothers
Petting your cat or dog feels good. It can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone. It also soothes your pet, says Alan Beck, ScD, director of the Center for the Human–Animal Bond at Purdue University
3.       Social Magnets
“If I saw you walking down the street, I couldn’t comfortably start talking to you if I didn’t know you, but I could if you had a dog,” Beck says. “It’s an acceptable interaction that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.” People who use wheelchairs say that other people make eye contact with them more often and ask if they can be of help if they’re with their dogs, Beck says.

4.       Better Mood, More Meaning
People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems. One reason for that may be that your pet gives you a sense of belonging and meaning McConnell says. “You feel like you have greater control of your life.”

5.       Benefits for Baby’s Immune System
Babies raised in families that have pets may be less likely to get allergies and asthma some studies show. It has to start early, ideally before a baby is 6 months old, says Beck. Babies with dogs and cats at home have fewer colds and ear infections during their first years than babies living in pet-free homes, one study found.
6.       Social Support for Autistic Children
Kids tend to relate better to their classmates who have autism when pets are in the classroom, Beck has found in his research.
“Animals change the classroom environment and help to integrate those who are a little less typical,” Beck says. “Once the children get involved with animals, they view each other more positively and work together better.”
Top 5 Most Anticipated Movies of 2020
#5: Godzilla vs. Kong (03/13/20) - The two “Godzilla” films and “Kong: Skull Island,” have been warming us up for the ultimate monster mash in “Godzilla vs. Kong.” This won’t be the first time these two heavy-hitting titans have clashed on the silver screen. 1962’s “King Kong vs. Godzilla” is really starting to show its age, however, and it’s about high time this premise was rebooted with modern effects.

#4: Bond 25 (04/08/20) - The 25th James Bond film has endured a shaky production, with Daniel Craig at one point saying he’d rather commit suicide than return as 007. Craig apparently came around, as he signed up to play Mr. Bond at least one more time. If this is the end of the Craig era, here’s hoping “Bond 25” reaches the same heights as “Casino Royale” and “Skyfall.”

#3: Wonder Woman 1984 (06/05/20) - Having completed filming in late 2018, the sequel to “Wonder Woman” was originally set to come out the following November, but was ultimately pushed to summer 2020. While the first film took place during World War I, this second chapter jumps ahead to 1984, which will set the stage for a third film in modern times.

#2: Avatar 2 (12/18/20) - “Avatar” did the unthinkable upon release, surpassing “Titanic” as the highest-grossing movie of all time. You’d think James Cameron would rush out a sequel ASAP. Being a perfectionist, however, Cameron took his time mapping out the next four sequels, with the first follow-up coming out over a decade after its predecessor. The film’s delay can be partially attributed to Cameron’s ambitious vision, having spent the past several years developing technology that can shoot motion-capture performances underwater.

#1: Dune (11/20/20) - Despite gaining something of a cult following, 1984’s “Dune” was a notorious box office and critical dud, not to mention a rare blemish on director David Lynch’s career. Fans have wanted to see Frank Herbert’s Hugo Award-winning novel done justice on the big screen for almost 55 years. The film’s cast is beyond impressive with names like Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac… just to name a few! “Avatar 2” may make more money, but we’re willing to wager that “Dune” will define the sci-fi genre in 2020.