In a year that has been difficult in the markets and anything but predictable, there are still lots of bright spots and things for which to be thankful. In that vein it may make sense – before the Thanksgiving holiday – to dedicate extra time to giving ourselves credit for:
goals in process
the people who made progress possible (family, friends, colleagues)
successes despite inevitable failures
the ability to have overcome tragedy or failures
being able to make new future goals as a result of past failures and successes.
From the Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes… with an addition on hopefulness.
Bottom line: Being Thankful, Grateful and Hopeful are all positive things.
Simply saying “Thank you” out loud is hard to do without smiling either inwardly or outwardly. Try it! Then say, “I am grateful for X” and it likely brings an even deeper feeling. Perhaps that is why gratitude is central to the science of happiness –yes, there is a whole branch of science around happiness. The newer science around hope is equally, if not more, powerful!
One of the most critical factors of long-term personal financial success is… guess:
And the answer is… SPENDING. This fact is why a truly competent financial planner will spend the most time on discussing spending, both today and future projected, along with GOALS (Goals are what people spend money on).
How about PCL instead? PCL = Post Career Lifestyle. It may turn out to be the way to go for a number of reasons.
First of all, “retirement” may be impossible to imagine if you are embarking on a first job or are early in a career. I mean… age 59½?? That age is nearly irrelevant and definitely forever in the future!
On the other hand, “Post-Career Lifestyle” feels way more attainable and easier to imagine. Think: someday… when I can have a lifestyle that is more balanced – on MY terms – somewhere between work and relaxing.
After talking with a number of clients and friends in the past couple of weeks it became apparent that a breakdown of YTD stock market performance would be informative. There are major pronounced differences currently in the various stock categories. An explanation of these differences could illuminate why certain portfolios have gone up (or down) more than others.
Please note that this discussion is not meant to minimize the importance of performance. Performance is critical; however, the time frame of performance evaluation and the concept of progress toward achieving goals are even more critical to successful investing.
Lifestyle, goals and spending are what drive a successful investor’s attitude in volatile markets.
Whew! What a stretch in the markets. During record-breaking volatility both UP and DOWN I have been on the phone continuously with clients and friends for 2-3 weeks. The BEST part is that 99% of the phone calls have been positive in confirming:
…and various conversations about beverage of choice.
Amidst the positive narrative playing out via recent stock market records in the US (including strength in European markets) the “next episode” in the markets and economy could be more of a letdown. Use this time amidst the market’s gains to identify what to worry about and actions that can be taken NOW to craft a better ending to the story.
The following is a non-comprehensive list of “constructive worries” (or concerns) that if managed year-round can greatly increase the ability to cope with inevitable market declines or letdowns – and enjoy more the experience of investing over our lifetimes. Continue reading “What to Worry About”
It is always helpful to define where stand today and understand a few points about how we got here. So as a sequel to my last post, here are a handful of data points about today’s economy and market stats from the recent past. Several of these may surprise you.
Remember the original, first run of the movie, Rocky? Even if you were not around (or born) in 1976 to see the movie in person, you probably know the theme song and the story by heart. The film is timeless.
Investing advice can be timeless as well. Here are several pieces of professional advice and perspective that I have come to firmly believe in my over 30 years in financial services and would like to pass on to you: Continue reading “Timeless Investing Advice”
Are you familiar with the saying, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while”?
The year of 2017 (and every year since 2009) in the stock markets could fall under this category – and prove dangerous to those not recognizing or admitting this reality. In other words when the S&P 500, the index of the largest and most recognizable companies in America, rises every year (including dividends) for 9 years in a row (and was up over 13.5% in 6 out of those 9 years) we have been given a slightly false sense of security that investing is easy.