Sarah Swan

Mountain landscape with child in a field of wheat looking up in amazment

Insights: Back to the Basics

As I’ve gotten older, I have liked the idea of setting intentions for myself, deciding to grant mental real estate to things I’d like to spend more time doing or trying. These aren’t New Year’s Resolutions about abstaining from alcohol or getting my heart rate up 5x per week (or other new habits that die quickly about this time of year). These are… bigger than that, but also simpler than that. And that is what makes them challenging.

Older woman with hands interlaced sitting their lap

A Case For Aging Happily

Whether it’s reading neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta’s Keep Sharp, or listening to Dr. Peter Attia (author of Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity) on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, a favorite podcast of mine, or simply contemplating the many conversations I have with the older people and clients in my life on a daily basis, I have been devouring everything I can on this complex and interesting topic.

Grass Tennis Court

The Tapestry of Tennis

Two first-time Wimbledon champions were crowned last week, the oldest tennis tournament in the world (1877!). Carlos Alcaraz defeated seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, and Marketa Vondrousova became the first unseeded woman to ever win.

Man jogging up stairs in forest

The Slow Burn

This week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates another .25% in its battle against inflation. In the weeks, and then ultimately days (in light of banking turmoil), leading up to the announcement, everyone everywhere seemed to take it upon themselves to offer Fed Chair Jerome Powell their own version of advice. And there were pretty sound arguments on both sides of the debate. Ultimately, the Fed did what we thought it would do—continue on its path of rate increases, albeit slower than what felt likely even just a few weeks prior (.50%).

A lot to unpack

A Lot to Unpack

Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury, recently said, “It’s as difficult an economy to read as I can remember.” To cut to the chase: we would retweet that sentiment. Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, has practically all but said “READ MY LIPS: NO RATE CUTS.” And yet, investors seem to have a different vision for how the year ahead plays out. One could imagine that we’re all reading effectively the same economic data, but the data itself is a mixed bag, and interpretation of the data (and the importance of each piece) leaves a lot of room for divergence of opinion as well. You’ve probably heard many times by now that the Fed is aiming for a soft landing. What exactly does that mean? It means

Answering the tough questions, yellow telephone hanging on the wall

Answering the Tough Questions

When each of us became an investor, whether we realized it or not, we entered into a deal of sorts with the market. It wasn’t a contractual obligation per se; it was more like a handshake deal with a friend we’ve known for many, many years. We trusted that based on our friend the market’s past behavior (since the 1920s, if you’re referring to the chart below), we had no reason to believe our friend the market would not keep up its end of the deal: to deliver us a return on our investment over the long haul. But in order for the market to do so, we needed to uphold our end of the bargain which was to not throw in the towel early; to not give up on it, despite it weaving off course at times. The handshake deal we entered is just that: we will get a return on our investment if we don’t cut the deal short. When the going gets rough, we have two very important things to rely on: trust and history. And therefore, in order to be fit for investing in the market, we need to in fact be people who are willing to rely on both and, therefore, uphold our end of the deal.