True story: this week my 7-year old son and I were driving home from church in a silent truck. Then, all of a sudden, he yelled out “Everybody knows that!”. Of course I replied asking, “Everybody knows what?” His answer: “In 15 minutes you can save 15% or more on car insurance.” Admittedly, this was not quite what I expected. Then a few seconds later came his follow-up, “Dad, what’s a percent?”
Many times we believe something just because we hear it over and over, regardless of whether we fully understand it or take time to research its validity. Believe it or not, this happens in the investment world as investors buy into the “hottest stock tip” or become frightened after listening over and over to doomsday predictions. Regardless of their specific situation or well developed plan, it somehow becomes easier to stray off path when the “noise” gets louder – whether from family, a friend’s so-called “successful investment story” or the news and media. Remember, you must maintain faith in your plan.
Playing the “what-if” game can be dangerous just like following the latest trend can leave you at risk. There’s a time to turn down the volume… and when things seem just too good to be true, don’t hesitate to ask your advisor. It can be good to get a second opinion or an objective viewpoint before making a clouded or emotional decision that you come to regret down the road.
I attended a brief seminar last week that featured a former Department of Labor investigator. As current trends in the qualified retirement plan area were discussed, the following statistic came up among pre-retirees: “the largest regret about my retirement is that I didn’t save enough (or at all) during the first five years I worked” – Did you know that by beginning to save when you get your first job, especially during the first 5 years, you can dramatically increase your retirement success rate? Two key factors come into play: 1) your investments have longer to compound and grow, and 2) most who do so develop a positive habit of disciplined saving. If this window has passed by, do you have loved ones you need to encourage to start investing now? And if you are late, why not start now anyway? Call us and we can help.
A look back reveals how far we have come since 2008 – consider these eight event-driven headlines that were seen in the 4th quarter of 2008:
- Dow falls below 10,000 (Oct. 6)
- Dow finishes worst weekly slide (Oct. 10)
- U.S. to buy preferred stake in 9 Financial Institutions (Oct. 13)
- Obama Elected President (Nov. 4)
- Auto Execs ask Congress for help (Nov. 18)
- Madoff charged with fraud (Dec. 11)
- Fed cuts Fed Funds rate to a range of 0%-0.25% (Dec. 16)
- Oil closes at $30.28 per barrel (Dec. 23)
Considering these and other major headwinds we have recovered from since the crash of 2008, we’ve survived some major events. Sometimes it’s beneficial to look back can consider what we’ve been through as we continue to look ahead and plan for the future. [Source: Morningstar, Inc.]