Where Do We Stand as a Country?

263If there’s one phrase that’s entered the mainstream lexicon as the 2016 election approaches, it’s “Let’s make America great again!”1

Every president, regardless of party, vows to make the country better in some way, but as a whole, has America lost ground?2 Are we really not great anymore?

In the big picture, our country is still relatively new. Many world powers had been around for centuries before the U.S. was colonized. But to put the rapid growth we enjoyed in perspective, it may be easier to look at things on a smaller scale.

For example, you could say our nation’s history is similar to the booming start-up Birchbox. This company made great strides in its early years, with its clear business model catered to consumers’ discoveries of new beauty products. However, the challenge now is to sustain that growth once it hits its mid-life crisis in the business lifecycle.3

The same can be said for young athletes, particularly in individual sports like golf or tennis. A new talent arises, hungry and fearless. He or she may be able to compete at a high level and defeat far more experienced veterans. However, after spending more time on the professional tour, competitors will become more familiar with the strengths and weaknesses in his or her game.4

This creates an interesting parallel with individual investment strategies. Sometimes you may buy into an investment and the holding soars right out of the gate. But eventually its performance could be tempered by market and economic forces. This is natural; no investment is immune. One key criterion is how well your investment choices can weather the good and the bad times.5 That’s where we can offer assistance. We can help you stay focused on your long-term goals and work with you to design a specific plan using a variety of insurance and investment products that help you work toward your desired financial future.

When you compare the U.S. in a historical sense, we’re really just starting to hit middle age. Of course we’re going to hit rough patches and lose ground according to some metrics; it’s only natural. Our older cities are now reaching the age where reinforcement and replacement of infrastructure is needed, and some of our policies may no longer be aligned with modern society.6 No matter who you vote for in November, there will be changes implemented that hopefully will keep the U.S. on an upward trajectory.

Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications

1 Conor Friedersdorf. The Atlantic. June 15, 2016. “The Presidents Who Made America Great.” http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/where-donald-trump-fits-among-the-leaders-who-made-america-great/486890/. Accessed June 23, 2016.

2 Karsten Strauss. Forbes. May 30, 2016. “The World’s Most Competitive Countries 2016: U.S. No Longer No. 1.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2016/05/30/the-worlds-most-competitive-countries-2016-u-s-no-longer-no-1/#3564677e3fea. Accessed June 23, 2016.

3 Ranjay Gulati and Alicia DeSantola. Harvard Business Review. March 2016. “Start-Ups That Last.” https://hbr.org/2016/03/start-ups-that-last. Accessed June 23, 2016.

4 ATPworldtour.org. June 18, 2016. “Zverev Dethrones Federer in Halle, Sets Mayer Final.” http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/news/halle-2016-saturday-federer-zverev. Accessed June 23, 2016.

5 Dmitriy Fomichenko. Los Angeles Times. June 19, 2016. “7 important financial steps to take in your 30s.” http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-retirement-savings-20160618-snap-story.html. Accessed June 23, 2016.

6 International Monetary Fund. June 22, 2016. “Article IV Consultation with the United States of America: Concluding Statement of the IMF Mission.” http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2016/062216.htm. Accessed June 23, 2016.

This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. All investments are subject to risk including the complete loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

AE06165090C