Recently, my husband, Roger, spent 18 days in the hospital. In all honesty, it was one of the most difficult experiences of our lives. I learned a lot during his stay and I thought I would share some of the insights I learned.
1) Ask questions
During our hospital stay, the doctors would share thoughts and findings and then always ask, “Do you have any questions?” I found that more times than not, we didn’t even know what to ask. This was all very foreign to us and it took a while to process the information and thoughts. As time went on, we would come up with questions throughout the day and then, write them down. Then, the next time the doctors came in, we had our list of questions.
So many times, I have heard you say to us, “We don’t even know what to ask.” Believe me I get it. Same concept but different setting. Once you have the chance to process the information, we welcome your follow up questions. Give us a call or send us an email so we can make sure you are getting the answers you need and want.
2) Advocate for yourself
No one in the hospital understands or knows exactly how the patient feels better than the patient knows. We found that if Roger didn’t express how he was feeling or what was going on, nothing would change. It’s not that his care wasn’t good or they weren’t doing the right things, but he needed to say, this pain is too much or I need help sleeping, whatever it was, so that the best decisions could be made for him.
We are working in your best interest at Kindred Financial Partners, but we don’t know what you’re not telling us. We need to know if you’re not sleeping at night or if your situation has changed from the last time we spoke. If we don’t know we are not making the best decisions and recommendations for you. We need all the information to make sure that your investments follow the specific plans for your goals.
3) There can be a lot of uncertainty, trust the professionals
We wanted to leave the hospital on day two. Ok, let’s be real, we’ve wanted to leave the hospital since day 1. No one wants to stay in the hospital. On day two, after Roger’s first surgery (there were 3), he felt good. When can we leave? We are missing our family vacation! The doctors just wanted to make sure everything was OK before we left. Had we left when we wanted, things probably would have been a lot worse. We wouldn’t have lasted long on the outside to say the least, and by trusting the doctors experience and expertise, Roger received the care he needed.
4) People do care and they are trying to help
There is a lot of activity going on all the time in the hospital. In addition, just like a lot of places, there are a shortage of workers, in particular, nurses. With that, we often had a lot of rotation in who Roger’s nurse was day by day. Sometimes it was hard, because they needed to learn what his needs were and how best they could help. While it wasn’t always the easiest transition, we found that whether it was the nurse, patient care assistant, attending doctor or resident doctor, everyone really did care. At the end of the day, they had Roger’s best interest in mind and wanted to make sure they were providing him the care he needed.
Over the last few years, you have seen some new faces on our team. Kasey joined us about 3 ½ years ago and our newest team member Mike Tangalakis, Financial Advisor, just relocated back to Michigan and hasn’t been seen by many of you yet. While you might see new team members now, and in the future, and feel like they don’t know you, we want to assure you that the bottom line is everyone at Kindred Financial Partners has your best interest in mind. We all want to make sure your needs are met and your questions answered. We all have one goal in mind and that is doing our best to work for you to help you meet your goals.
5) Sometimes things get worse before they get better
During our stay, Roger had three surgeries in total. Before each surgery, things got really bad and quite scary from our perspective. It certainly didn’t feel like Roger would be better on the other side of the surgery, but they did. After each surgery, we would see some improvements until finally after the third surgery Roger finally seemed to turn a corner and get on the road to recovery.
The stock market works in a similar fashion. We have had a rough year in the market this year. We kept saying that it was the worst start to a year, but here we are 9 months in and things are still quite volatile. Often times in a bear market, things look their bleakest before they start to improve. If you think back to the great recession when the market was at its low on March 9, 2009, there was no good economic news, but it climbed a slow recovery from there. On March 23, 2020, when the market hit its lowest during the initial COVID scare, we were all still in lockdown wondering what the heck this COVID thing would mean long term when the stock market started its recovery. While there are often correlations, the stock market and the economy are two different entities. What we see in the world around us might continue to look and feel bleak when the stock market begins to recovery. It’s a good reminder to focus on your long-term goals, not the short-term noise and news.
6) Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel seems burned out.
For Roger’s hospital stay, it seemed like the word we used the most was hope or hopefully. We were always hoping for improvements, hoping for good news, hoping things didn’t take a backward slide. So often, it felt like our hopes were followed by disappointment and the once bright light we saw at the end of the tunnel quickly disappeared. Even when things were moving in the right direction, we were hesitant to get too excited. On day 15 in the hospital, we were encouraged with good news that discharge may be coming in the next few days. It allowed us once again see the light at the end of the tunnel.
When the market is going down and there doesn’t seem to be any good news around us, it feels so hard to believe that we will one day experience a bull market. It feels like things will never turn around and we will be in this decline forever. History shows us, however, that for every bear market we have experienced, the market has at some point rebounded and then grown to new highs.
In life and in the world of investments, there are no guarantees. Things are constantly changing and things are always happening. Just like in your life, however, you have goals and we have made a plan with you for your investments. As your needs and life changes, we adjust your plan to make sure things remain on the right track. Sometimes the plan is a straightforward line from A to B, but more often, it is a curvy, scenic path with lots of hills and excitement along the way.
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Stacy Caudill and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index, and index performance does not include transaction costs or other fees, which will affect actual investment performance. Individual investor's results will vary. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.
– Paul Reilly | Chairman and CEO, Raymond James Financial