My cell phone rang, and I felt a pit in my stomach because my caller ID told me it was my cousin Irving. Against my better judgment, I answered the call. And he was stark raving mad.
“Dude, I told you we are going to be in a nuclear war!” he screamed. Mind you, he told me awhile back a nuclear war wasn’t’ going to happen because Trump took care of the problem. (Take a wild guess who he voted for last year). I calmed him down, but then he got real excited about his money and said, “I see the ‘smart money’ has moved to bonds. Dude, how did you know that was going to happen, and what kind of analytics did you use to determine this?” I told him I didn’t use any analytics. “That’s BS,” he said. “You must have one of those fancy Bloomberg terminals to trade ahead of the market.” “No, Irv,” I replied, “those are for professional traders.” “But that’s what I thought you were,” Irv said. “No, Irv,” I replied, “I’m a planner, not a trader.” “But on our last call, you predicted this would happen.”
“Irv,” I sharply retorted, “I’m not Nostradamus. I can’t see the future. My “research” is based on human nature, market history and a few people who won Noble Prizes for their research saying it’s good to combine stocks and bonds. When things get tough and uncertain, money often flows to bonds. The safest bonds are issued by the US government.” And Irv shouted, “But interest rates are low and bonds have no returns these days.” I felt like saying, “No sh*%t, Sherlock,” but I kept my cool. “Irv, it’s obvious that rates are low, but I still view bonds as a form of insurance in case stocks go down. Also my clients are okay with this.”
“So, have you moved all your clients’ money to bonds?” Irv asked. “Irv,” I said, “they already have had bonds mixed with stocks. It’s predetermined. I don’t move money back and forth. That would be an attempt at market timing which no one has ever been consistently successful with.”
Irv then blasted, “But the guys on CNBC said stocks are going to be hit hard!” Then I said, “Good for them Irv. Remember bad news sells.” Irv blurted, “So you don’t believe in their prediction?” “Not really, Irv. If they knew, why do they need a job?” I said.
I realized it is never productive to argue with an attorney, and I knew this conversation was not going to end well. So I lied and told Irv I had a client meeting that I had to prepare for. Ahh…peace and quiet at last.