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Lessons learned in 2020

December 19, 2020

My wife and I were talking while cooking dinner the other day and we were discussing how she saw some Christmas ornaments online condemning 2020. This got me thinking that many people are choosing to see the bad side of 2020, acting like it’s a year to be forgotten or written off. I’m not diminishing the significant impact COVID-19 has had on us all, but I choose to see 2020 in a totally different lens. It has opened my eyes in many ways.

First thing I noticed was how many people became stock market forecasters when things got pretty ugly in March. Not surprisingly though, many people got it completely wrong more than once. The year 2020 showed us once again that no one really knows precisely where the market is going and how far it’s going to go over a period of a few months or a year. Even trained professionals were humbled by the surprising shifts and results posted by the investment markets in 2020. So, to be successful at investing it’s best to leave the predictions to the pundits.

Another thing I noticed was how businesses adapted to change. Certainly, the global pandemic was not part of their plan at the beginning of the year. Some nimbler businesses adapted to the new normal. Some reinvented themselves and kept as much of their business integrity and client experience intact to the benefit of their customers and profits. Others were very slow to adapt with long wait times to receive essential or even time sensitive services. This could in some cases be very painful and disappointing to the customer. In my observations, the firms that were most able to adapt to this new normal and provide quality services and meet clients’ needs didn’t only win in 2020, they will likely continue to be successful after the pandemic has passed. Plans, whether in business or personal, are important as they give guidance to achieve the desired outcome. However, life is full of surprises and when unexpected events occur, it is important to adapt and make the necessary changes to the plan so that it reflects the new reality.

The thing I realized more recently is the different attitudes towards the year 2020 and how people react. Some people seem to have chosen to blame the events of 2020 for many of their undesired results. Others are choosing to make the best of these new circumstances. Like many things in life, the pandemic and its impacts are out of our control. That said, how we adjust and react is entirely up to us. If 2020 has taught me anything about human behaviour in times of change, it’s that people who choose to adapt tend to make the best of their circumstances and that often leads to both personal and financial success.

All in all, 2020 was an emotional and taxing year for everyone on different levels and for different reasons. I certainly don’t want to downplay the toll it has had on anyone. However, we can’t keep living like some of these changes are temporary. Some aspects of our lives and the way we work have likely changed forever and those who are best able to adapt to changes will have the most success.

This writing is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax or personalized financial advice. If you are not sure how to proceed with a request for further information, seek help from a professional. Any opinions expressed are my own and may not necessarily reflect those of Louisbourg Investments.


Marcel LeBlanc, CFP®, CIM® is a Financial Planner with Louisbourg Investments. You can find more from him on Facebook and LinkedIn. Comments or questions may be submitted to Marcel at, or he may be reached at (506) 383-5204

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