Someone recently told me that things in their life were discombobulated. That is a common word that means out of sorts. That got me to thinking, what is the opposite of discombobulated? Is there such a word as combobulated, and what does it mean?


I looked it up and it turns out that combobulate is a word, and that its meaning is relevant to how one might build an investment portfolio, particularly during this Covid period. “Combobulate” means to put together in a mysterious manner, or to bring something out of a state of confusion or disarray. Doesn’t it seem that we are constantly in a state of confusion or disarray, perhaps more so right now with Covid, a looming Presidential election, international economic uncertainty, and any number of other issues. Among all of this, we are expected to put together a financial plan and/or to stick to a plan that we previously put together. How do we do that amid all that is uncertain? We combobulate it! Despite the state of confusion and disarray out there, we go to work every day (or perhaps today we log into a video conference); we invest our savings according to some formula that works for us; we carry on with our lives as best as we can.


While I am making the practice of Financial Planning sound like wizardry or alchemy, it really isn’t, or at least it doesn’t have to be. We are not mysteriously creating gold out of common elements. Instead, it is the “Planning” aspect that is important. We design a financial plan that will sail despite the roughness of the seas. In order to do this, we set objectives that should be at least somewhat long-term. We believe that the periods of rough seas will likely be followed by calmer periods because they have in the past. If we have a goal or objective and a plan that we believe should get us there, we can rise above the confusion and disarray (especially that which is propagated by the financial and general news media) and achieve our goal. This especially if we believe the future will be anything like the past.


If you want to feel like a wizard, if not actually become a wizard, just think of yourself as such as you combobulate your financial life plan and your investment portfolio. Even if you do something simple like go to work, store your extra scraps into a retirement account, and allocate those scraps according to some stocks vs. bonds formula that works for you, then you should feel like you have achieved some sort of wizard status because you have done so out of a state of confusion and disarray. Or, if you don’t feel too wizard-like and unable to combobulate yourself, please contact me for some help!

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