The best Halloween I ever had was when I was 9 years old. I put together a costume at home probably inspired by a fairy tale. I was a hunter with bows and an arrow. I painted my face. My parents gave me instructions on how to stay safe. Most important of all, I grabbed a large pillowcase to fit all the candy in, and off I went with a friend to go to every house in the neighborhood with a big gang of kids.
It was fun, scary, and filled with sugar. What holiday could be better than that? Most houses were easy. The light was on, we rang the doorbell, chanted “Trick or Treat!”, and some funny mom or dad or an annoyed teenager would hand us a bowl of candy to pick from. Then there were the houses that had no light on. We had to decide if we were going to risk going to those. One in particular was a big corner house with about 20 steps leading up to the front door. It was dark. We dared each other to go ring the doorbell. A few of us straggled up and rang it. The explosion of what sounded like HUGE dogs barking from inside and throwing themselves against the front door sent us all running for our lives! Fortunately, we ended the night no worse for the wear. No sprained ankles from running through dark yards, no scary dogs actually attacked us, and we all had very full bags of candy.
Those heart-thumping Halloween nights remind me a bit of the investment markets these days. Each day seems like a choice between a Trick or a Treat. The market jumps higher one day and drops precipitously the next. Some piece of news comes out which sounds like some of those huge dogs barking and investors go screaming down the stairs. The next day it’s all candy and funny moms and dads as the market recovers. It’s hard to know what’s happening and when to be cautious or confident.
Don’t let the markets spook you. Let your financial advisor know if you have concerns and know that at Symphony, we invest your money in ways that manage your short-term investment goals differently than your long-term goals so you aren’t caught on the wrong side of a market move. We don’t want to be scared by the market and we don’t want you to be either.
Thinking back to those trick or treating days, I don’t think 9 year-olds go out on Halloween without their parents these days. Things have changed. But hopefully the fun and candy are still great!