At the May meeting EABC members were treated to a discussion by Tom O’Neil (of American Funds) titled “Creating Clarity from Confusion”. Tom lead a discussion about some developments in financial markets you don’t hear about in the media very often and then shared a roadmap for staying focused on your long-term goals.
It’s no secret that Americans tend to distrust the media — but we listen anyway. According to a recent Gallup poll, public confidence in newspapers and television is around 23%. Unfortunately, how we view the world — and make decisions impacting our financial futures — can so easily be influenced by what we are hearing. How can investors tune out the constant stream of confusing and often-conflicting information and focus on their long-term financial plans?
One of the key facts he focused on was how well the stock market has done throughout its history, despite enormous disruptions such as world wars, national strife, multiple recessions, international drama and other events. Over the years there have been many reasons NOT to invest, but Tom’s message was to look beyond the headlines and blaring TV talking heads and focus on the long-term results. He presented an interesting graphic which showed the stock market growth from 1934 through 2014 and was annotated with many negative events that affected the market. However, the market has continued to grow and an initial $10,000 investment in 1934 would have yielded almost $45,000,000 in 2014. The point was to show that over time there are more ups than downs. It was an interesting presentation which generated a number of thoughtful questions.
Tom O’Neil is a wholesaler at American Funds, part of Capital Group, covering northern Florida and southern Georgia and we very much appreciated his attendance. EdwardJones Investments and Brian Henning kindly arranged for Mr. O’Neil to be our guest speaker and sponsored the meeting’s meal. Many thanks to Brian and his team.