As we move into 2009, we are seeing a more stable market occurring since the disastrous late fall of ’08. This is by no means saying we are at the bottom of the cycle, but a few points from history should help us stay focused on the longer term.
First of all: as most individuals were slow to recognize a retreating stock market, they usually fail to see an upward trend until after opportunities for gains have gone by.
Secondly, we should be using “dollar cost averaging” (a.k.a.: making regular, consistent deposits) as this will level out more of the ups and downs of your purchases.
Thirdly, review where you are and where you are going in your portfolio. How much do you need and are you saving enough to get there? Ask us for help in this area; we can do a quick review and projection for you with just a few basic questions.
Fourthly, markets go up and markets go down, but the long term is up. Think longer term when reviewing your numbers.
And lastly, believe what you believe and doubt what you doubt. When put to the test, as we all have been, we start doubting our beliefs and believing our doubts! We all know good investments are for the long term; watch them but do not jump out totally and try to time the way back in. Good, balanced, diversified portfolios will pay off over time, as history has shown us again and again.
All the best for your personal and financial health in 2009!
Photo credit: “Edmonton Journal delivery truck 1914” by woody1778a