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Letters to the editor March 19

| March 19, 2023 12:00 AM

Diversify

Over the last few years, the economic environment has taken its toll on businesses, retirement plans and bank accounts. It has also gouged a severe wound in every family's wallet buying groceries. It's been difficult.

As a financial advisor, I've recently had conversations and received many phone calls from locals and some business owners. Still, most are individual investors just curious about what I'm seeing. This past week's banking implosion has stirred the minds of many. Some wonder if their money is in jeopardy, and some question the risk associated with this news, fearing it impacts their net worth.

My answer: If you're lucky, yes!

Investors have weathered volatility for decades. From the floor of the recession in 2008 to the summit of the S&P 500 winter of 2021, it's important to remember one thing that protected investors then and still works today: diversification.

Unfortunately, time after time, a "run" on specific investments - i.e., stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency (or even the latest trend on social media) - has lured assertive eyes away from a disciplined strategy. Instead, they are lumping overweighted assets into a sector that has rewarded others in hopes of returning the same results for everyone. Here's what I know; inflation is here. And it's going to be around longer than the Fed has anticipated.

Eventually, fear will fade once another distraction pokes its head; but don't ignore the failure of SVB last Friday and the venture capitalist liquidity issue. Instead, accept it with an open mind as a lesson in adversity that you will refuse to waste.

Protect through diversification. Few "Hall of Fame" investors swing for the fence, searching for the most significant gains. However, those who are diversified and continuously raking in those tedious yet rewarding singles and doubles are the safest and happiest.

— Stephen E. Barber, Whitefish

Septage decision

In a stunning reversal the Flathead County Commission abandoned not just a specific solution to processing county septage, but questioned its role in ever providing infrastructure to protect public health and drinking water supplies.

Cleaning up Flathead County’s human poop requires more sophisticated public services as the population and housing density increase.

If Flathead County does not plan for and support development of higher level septage treatment, the appropriate alternative is for the County and the Montana DEQ to call for a moratorium on all new construction on land that is not served by municipal sewage treatment plants.

— Margaret S. Davis, Lakeside