Lion or Lamb?
When I was a kid, I can remember my teachers talking about the concept of Lion or Lamb in the month of March. The all familiar phrase is heard around many towns at the start of March is “March came in like a lion and went out like a lamb.” There is truth and history to this phrase that is often used by meteorologists to introduce the month that is often characterized by harsh winter weather.
Now, why might a financial advisor start his article discussing the nature of weather or meteorology. Simple, there are many cyclical things in our industry that we take for granted (trends of the stock market, life cycle changes demanding different financial needs and advice, etc). However, use this analogy to respond to our 2022 into 2023 life change in the current economy. In the last 12 months, in response to hedging inflation, the chairman of our Federal Reserve System (the FED) raised interest rates 8 times in the last 12 months with another 2 raises anticipated in 2023. In 2019, they reduced it 3 times and 2 more times at the start of the COVID in 2020. However, from 2015 until December 2018, they raised interest rates 9 times. What does all this mean for the average American?
- In the short term, a loan may cost more interest
- The cost of milk, eggs, and day to day materials will start to drop
- The employment seeker may start to see less help wanted signs
- The reinvention of innovation to many of our consumer goods will change
- You will see more “open house” signs put up by realtors
- Demand will start to find the manageable cycle of supply
Now, I say these things so simply. The fact is, over many cycles of federal policy, the raising and lowering of interest rates has changed the inflation and recession cycles of the US dollar’s value. As we move into a different looking world going from inflation and everything costing an arm and a leg, if you can get it, to our new normal, I am reminded that the cycles of fiscal policy tend to find themselves looking like something that we may have experienced in the past.
There is continuous message I reiterate in our website blog and in this magazine each month, and not to sound as “cyclical” as this March weather/astrology message may come off, but we all need advisors or teachers of sort in our lives. The overloading world of information surrounding retirement is constantly changing. Maybe March should be the time to schedule a meeting with a financial advisor. Is your plan ready for this next cycle? Let us know if we can help.
By the way, as it turns out, the origins of this phrase relate more to astrology rather than meteorology. The lions and lambs of March come from the constellations, Leo the Lion and Aries the ram or lamb. Leo is more pronounced in the night sky at the start of March, while Aries is at the tail end of the month.
When it comes to March predictions, though, you’re better off listening to your local meteorologist for the latest forecast.