As divided as we are today, we do all share one thing in common: whenever we’re online, we scroll past dozens of little ads for overpriced facemasks. When I first noticed just how many ads for those things I’m bombarded with, I was annoyed. But now that I’ve thought about it a bit, I see their beauty. Do you want a mask with the face of a Golden Retriever? Done. How about one that has your name in rhinestones and a pocket for disposable filters? Sure thing.
Some of those companies will thrive. Some will fail. Every one of them is fully engaged with trying to find out exactly what consumers need and want, and how willing we might be to pay for it. Eventually we’ll have all the facemasks we need—hopefully because the pandemic is resolved, and these companies will go on to either reinvent themselves or die off. Personally, I predict a second wave made up of t-shirt ads.
As terrible as it is for people to lose their jobs, that encourages them to find jobs that employers need filled. Investors particularly need to respond quickly to change. Very few, if any, people expected an oil glut and a pandemic in January, but here we are. And we are making the best of it, or at least as close to the best as we can.
Facemask ads and political strife are tiresome. But by voting and only buying the facemasks we want we participate in the noisy but grand experiment that guides our country’s economy. Does it work perfectly? No. But it never will, nor can we expect it to. The world changes too fast. But we can continue to work to make it better. Even if you don’t vote, though, you work to make it better through every choice you make, whether it’s the brand of ketchup you buy or the chowderheads you block on Facebook.
We are a divided country. We desperately want to remember what we have in common and put aside our differences (provided the other side tearfully admits how right we were all the time). Even the market is divided. But, then again, we always were. Occasionally we all pull it together when faced with national emergency. As soon as that crisis is resolved, we return to our very American bickering.
The Founding Fathers decided long ago they prefer bickering to peaceful stagnation. They must have been inspired by a dinner with my parents. But governing by majority is messy. The Founders distrusted centralized power because of their experience with King George III. That’s why, other than maybe Kim Kardashian, there is no king or queen of the United States. That’s also why juries of peers decide guilt or innocence in our courts instead of appointed judges.
I won’t ask you to change your philosophy, your votes or the embroidered facemask in your shopping cart. I’m not asking you to “turn it down.” I celebrate it. I hope you will, too.
Evan R. Guido is President of Aksala Wealth Advisors LLC, a 2018 Forbes Next-Gen Advisors List Member, and Financial Advisor at Avantax Investment ServicesSM. Evan heads a team of retirement transition strategists for clients who consider themselves the “Millionaire Next Door.” He can be reached at 941-500-5122 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of his insights at https://finance.heraldtribune.com/category/ask-guido/. Securities offered through Avantax Investment ServicesSM, Member FINRA, SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Avantax Advisory ServicesSM, Insurance services offered through an Avantax affiliated insurance agency. 8225 Natures Way Suite 119, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202. The views and opinions presented in this article are those of Evan R. Guido and not of Avantax Wealth ManagementSM or its subsidiaries.