Don’t worry about the things you can’t control and concentrate on the things you can. With the markets reaching all-time highs last year, many people are wondering how long it might be before they retreat, how far they might decline, and how long they might be down. They are wondering what might cause the markets to decline. These are unknown variables and the unknown always causes concern.
You would be better off to concentrate on the things you can control. You can control many aspects of your life that can mitigate and manage the effects of these unknowns. If you are working, you can control the amount of money you are contributing to your investments each month. If you are retired, you can control the amount of money you are taking from your investments each month. You can control the mix of stocks, bonds, and cash in your portfolio. You can control how many different stocks and bonds you have in your portfolio. You can control how many different investments you have from other countries in your portfolio. You can control the timing of when to rebalance your portfolio.
You can control the fees and expenses of your investments. You can control your emotional response to market movements. You can control the amount of education you receive about your investments.
You can control how much you spend and save each month. You can control how much high-interest debt you have. You can control the amount of savings you have to cover emergencies. You can control whether or not you have a will and a durable power of attorney to protect your family. You can control the amounts and types of life and disability insurance protection for the same purpose. You can control your use of retirement investment accounts to minimize the taxes you pay. You can control whether or not you have a comprehensive financial plan that addresses all of these things. You can control whether or not you engage the services of a Fee-Only, full-time Fiduciary Certified Financial Planner professional to guide you through all of this.
It doesn’t help to worry about the things that are out of your control. Better to focus on the actions that can help you to cope with those unknown variables.
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