Waiting for a Financial D Day: How to Prepare

On this date 75 years ago (June 6, 1944), the Allied Forces took on a task that some thought impossible – gaining a foothold in German occupied territory during WWII.  The horrific images and heroic stories of that day have been memorialized in movies and books alike as survivors have shared their stories with us.  What I’ve always found interesting is the days, weeks and months leading up to the invasion itself.  What must that time have been like?  Soldiers knew what they were preparing for, they just didn’t know when they would be called upon to complete their mission.  During this waiting period officers led their men through endless drills, mock flight paths and other means of both mental and physical preparation.  Thus, the term “D Day” was used as a reference point for what everyone knew was eventually coming and a reminder that their preparation was not in vain.

In some ways, it feels as though investors and advisors alike are fearfully awaiting their own “D Day”.  A day that we all know is eventually coming whether we like it or not - economic recession and bear market.  Back in 1944, soldiers anxiously preparing for D Day looked for signs of when they thought their mission would begin.  Similarly, market watchers today examine every major headline and market pullback looking for clues that the bear market invasion has begun.  As an investment advisor, the one question I’ve been asked most over the last several years is “when’s the big drop coming?”

A big challenge to answering this question is that unlike the storming of Utah beach, we won’t actually know when the bear market began until after its damage has already begun.  In the interim, as we await our own investment “D Day” of sorts, I encourage you to prepare yourself and your portfolio.  Reevaluate your investment goals and time horizon, examine the quality of your assets and how they hold up under duress.  Do you have a plan for liquidity needs years in advance?  Do you have a strategy in place or will you be a reactionary investor subject to emotions and trends?  At Unified Trust, we take all these factors into account and deploy them using a prudent expert standard of care.  We also focus on outcomes and goals rather than scary headlines or blind optimism.

Don’t get caught without a plan when the next bear market comes.  As we remember the sacrifice and victory of those who fought in Normandy, let us not forget the preparation and work before D Day that led to their success.

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