There is certainly a lot of negative news on television and on the internet these days. Notably, regarding the trade war, Chinese tariffs, the government shutdown, and the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates… just to name a few. However, going into the new year I’d encourage you to look around you and form your own opinion of how the economy is doing. Holiday shopping soared For example: Did you make a visit to the shopping mall this holiday season? How about a supercenter, restaurant or even the grocery store? If you did, I bet you had to circle the parking lot about 3 times to finally get lucky and find a space. This might be due, in part, to the holiday shopping season being the highest it’s been in six years! Things are better than they may seem For the most part, individuals and businesses are making more money than they’ve ever made. The stock market and real estate market may not be at the super low levels that they were at five or six years ago — but I would argue that they are also not at “bubble” levels either! The point is that things are going reasonably well in reality: unemployment is at record lows, the economy is so strong that the Fed is having to intentionally slow it down, interest rates are still relatively affordable for those looking to buy a new car or a new home, and income tax rates were reduced. (We’ll really start to notice those lower tax rates when we file our 2018 tax returns in April of 2019.) Stay optimistic So, I recommend that you remain optimistic, ignore the negativity and “scary news of the day.” Stick with your long-term plan, work with your financial advisor, and continue to keep a watchful eye when the market gives you opportunities to buy. January 2019 Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.