This past week, our CEO David Greene presented the CJM team with a State of the Firm discussion, sharing a little perspective on the positive changes that we’ve made over the past decade. For those of you who were investors in 2008, you remember all too well the extreme feelings of fear and anxiety that plagued us ten years ago. “This time is different” was the headline that became the mantra of many, and for good reason. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) finished the year at 8,727, while the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) tanked to 903.
Looking back, I agree that the Great Financial Crisis was different. However, “different” also implies opportunity. 2008 and 2009 presented us with a historic occasion to build wealth while also meeting financial goals and objectives.
Since that challenging time, the stock markets have been on an incredible run with the DJIA closing at 24,693 and the S&P 500 at 2,708.1 The last 10 years have also been remarkable for our company, with the addition of several high-contributing team members as well as improved client technologies and resources. In fact, every CJM client review, financial plan and quarterly report that you have received in the last year has been impacted by at least one new team member as well as our new technology.
It is easy to begin worrying during times of volatility. To remain calm as investors, we need to remember to step back for a little bit of perspective. During the last decade, we have guided countless families as they have paid for college, weddings, and new homes. We shepherded hundreds of people toward successful retirements and have been fortunate to retain the faith and confidence of our treasured clients and investors. We plan for tougher days during the good times in an effort to manage and lessen the longer-term impact of volatility.
Investment legend Warren Buffett shares our optimism, as he stated during his most recent annual shareholders’ meeting, “I’m bullish on the future of the United States, but I’m bullish on the future of China, and to a significant extent the rest of the world. People are going to be living better 10, 20, 50 years from now, and I don’t think that’s something that can be stopped.” Looking back over the past 10 years, we have to agree.
1 as of May 14, 2018.