We Are Optimistic!

This is a blog post about an article about a recent Gallup poll. The poll says that 69% of Americans believe their financial situation will be better off one year from now than it is currently, and only 16% believe they will be worse off financially in a year. Furthermore, if you read the article and look at the chart that shows the poll results for the past 40+ years, you will see that Americans have remained consistently optimistic for the past 10 years.


I generally don’t read much into polling, particularly now. I’m sure you all get plenty of calls on a daily basis that tell you they are taking a survey and want you to participate. What is your normal and understandable reaction? Of course, it is to say No Thank You and hang up. Robo-calls asking you to participate in a survey are now more commonplace than ever. Because I don’t participate, I guess that others don’t either, and that to me skews the results. That said, I do sense that this particular Gallup poll gets it about right – maybe not the exact 69% number, but the sense that most people are optimistic about their own financial future.


The fact that Americans are steadily optimistic about their future stands in contrast to the daily gyrations and increased volatility that we are seeing in the stock markets. If you watch financial media and believe that the changes in stock market prices reflect changing levels of optimism, and that a selloff day in the market means fewer investors are optimistic, then this Gallup poll refutes that sense. Instead, the Gallup results probably mean that most people don’t pay much attention to the stock market and its volatility level. They keep their heads down, go to work, go about their day, support their families, and don’t let the noise get them down. Good for them! It means people deal with what they can control and don’t worry about what they can’t control. This is a coping mechanism. If you have to get up every day and go to work, then it’s best for your mental and physical health that you have a rosy view about what you are doing.


If you are an Eeyore and walk around with a dark cloud about your financial future, I recommend that you work with a financial professional (such as me) so that you can lift that cloud. Join the majority of Americans and feel good about your future through proper financial planning. You would go to a psychologist if you had mental health issues, so go to a financial shrink when you have financial mental health issues.

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