These days, many individuals are seeking ways to be calm and in the present, appreciate their lives and develop practices to stay focused. The financial events over the past few years have provided a perfect opportunity to practice these tools.  

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Mindfulness. According to, “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”  The recent bank failures are a good example of when to put practice into play. Mainstream’s first reaction was to panic, wondering if the U.S. banking system was failing. However, when we look at the variables, we can breathe easier. The Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) situation was largely due to the bank’s low interest treasuries on their balance sheet; the bank needed to raise cash to meet its obligations in an increased inflation environment, which forced SVB to sell their treasury holdings at a loss, igniting a domino effect. Once a bank shows signs of instability, depositors want to withdraw their money as soon as possible. However, the banking system, as it works today, allows for banks to lend a majority of depositors monies, so when the demand for withdrawals increase, they are forced to raise the cash through the sale of assets. Too many demands for withdrawals will ultimately put the bank’s margins out of compliance and the Feds step in. To note, a few months prior, SVB was deemed having a solid balance sheet.  

How can we be mindful in this situation? First, gather all the facts. Second, look at where you bank and how much you have on deposit. For example, if you have more than $250,000 in an individual account, the FDIC insurance limit, it behooves you to diversify among other institutions to ensure you are fully FDIC insured.

Meditation. There are many types of meditation. Just being present is one. Another is to close your eyes, and practice clearing your thoughts in a space with no distraction. As a beginner, thoughts will constantly fill your mind. Simply acknowledge them and go back to the breathing. The same exercise works for your investment portfolio. All the “noise” of the markets can pull you out of focus and distract your well-balanced portfolio.  Assuming, you are properly diversified, it’s important to acknowledge the news of the day, but remember events of the markets are short-term. Although some have long-term effects, a properly diversified portfolio will weather the storms.

This is where having a mantra can help. A mantra is a repeated word, sound or phrase such as “stay calm,” “remain focused,” “it’s just noise.” Of course, it’s just as important to check your portfolio and your financial plan to ensure you are still on track to meet your goals. Just remember to relax, practice your mantra and stay focused.

Michele Sarna is a certified financial planner with Beacon Pointe Advisors and can be reached at (760) 932.0930 or [email protected].

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Provided as information only and should not be considered investment, tax, or legal advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any type of investments. Asset Allocation, portfolio diversification, and risk strategies cannot assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. Form ADV contains important information about Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC, and may be viewed at

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