Am I doing it right? Money Management in an Uncertain World

Money Management in an Uncertain World

Every parent ponders the question, “Am I doing it right?”


No matter how many books you read or other “good” parents you emulate, a child’s inevitable defiant reply or misstep will cause this self-reflection.

Even young parents who enjoy a well-behaved firstborn often realize their naivety after a second child. Of course, each child is different. And, it becomes apparent through the untaught use of “no” or “mine” that a child possesses a selfish nature.

Parents get the fulfilling responsibility to help transform that selfish nature into a focus on doing good and loving others. The challenge is it may often appear as failure.

Many parents give up on their convictions and principles and instead embrace the latest philosophy or otherwise contradict any seeds they’ve deeply sewn, yet to sprout, into their children.

2022 – A Year of Financial Uncertainty

Going into 2023, many people are asking this same question, “Am I doing it right?” That is, are they managing their money right? Because like parenting, you may be doing nearly everything right and yet it may seem to not be working.

worry about moneyInflation was so low for so long that many people thought we “solved” inflation as a genuine risk. Instead, we hit peak inflation above 9%.

Bonds are relatively safe, responsible, and can be boring investments yet most lost money! That’s not supposed to happen! But it did (and has before and will again).

Stocks went down too. Aren’t stocks and bonds supposed to be diversified assets? Diversification is the “right” thing to do, is it not?

Real estate is something we can see and touch, unlike stocks and bonds. To most people, that’s what “makes it safe.” Except that values are now less than they were. Yes, of course, that is after a big increase. But, to the potential first-time homebuyer, affordability is still near an all-time low. And, to the homeowner who wants to upsize or downsize or just move down the street, it’s much more challenging today to sell off a 3% mortgage in exchange for a new 6% mortgage. The real estate market is out of whack on many levels.

War, threats of war, limited energy supply, food shortages, etc. – a list of uncertainties only clouds the picture.

All this may lead you to ask: “Am I doing it right?”

As you reflect on this question, it’s important to evaluate your process because the circumstances and the near-term outcomes are out of your control.

Here are a few key controllables:

Know where your money is coming and going: If you understand your cash flow, you can make informed decisions about how to allocate your money. family dining

Have a solid cash reserve: This can reduce anxiety and provide flexibility to avoid selling off investments when unexpected expenses arise.

Pay off debt: Debt can be a stressor which is often heightened in times of economic hardship. Do your best to minimize debt.

Invest for the long term: If you have investments, and better yet, an investment plan, you are light years ahead of most people. Investments inherently fluctuate in value. It’s a feature, not a bug.

Maintain a financial plan: Aligning your money with your objectives and their timeframes can provide a context for wise decision-making even when circumstances are uncertain.

King Solomon’s proverb reads,

“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Similarly, apply wise financial principles through the uncertainty and trust for a good outcome.


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Photos by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash; Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash; National Cancer Institute on Unsplash; Etienne Girardet on Unsplash 

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