As you’ve probably noticed, volatility in the markets has increased over the last few days and it’s probably not going to change in the short term. The VIX, which measures current volatility in the markets or what investors think will happen in the stock market has increased by more than 15%. We find a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the world from “What’s going to happen when Trump or Hilary become President” to “How long can the Fed justify keeping interests at their current level”. We have crises happening across multiple zones of our world. Oil prices don’t seem to want to stay stable and we continue to see Corporate greed in the headlines of our newspapers. The latest scandal involves Wells Fargo. To quote Bill Hybels, we find ourselves in “Uncharted Waters”.
For most Americans, we probably think of volatility or uncertainty a bit differently. We measure in terms of, “Will I be able to pay for daycare this month”, or “Have I saved enough money for my retirement considering the rising cost of health care”. We tend to translate what’s happening in the Macro down to our micro level. That’s ok, but we need to remember that those things really don’t affect some of the fundamentals of what you need to do to be successful and accomplish your goals. Sure, if rates are low and you like to invest in cd’s for income, you’re going to need to search for a different vehicle. But, it shouldn’t change what your long term outlook should be of your overall situation.
I’ve said this before, but we tend to let today’s headlines distract us from our more long term goals. We think because Fox News, CNN & NBC say it’s true, then it must be. I kid you not, as I was writing that last sentence, my partner unprovoked, came into my office and commented on a couple of news articles that he found ridiculous this past week. One article about Hilary Clinton and another about standing during our National Anthem. That right there tells me I’m right about my thinking. What am I thinking? I’m thinking that most of the junk we see on the tv and in the papers distracts us. What do these articles distract us from? You take your pick. But, I’ll stick to what’s relevant to finance. It distracts you from making sound financial decisions for your future. Divisive articles distract you from developing your own thoughts and opinions about the current state of our economy. They distract you from sitting down and spending time to analyze your goals. They stop you from reading intelligent material that would make your life better. And so on. My rant is over….
My point in all of this is that you have a goal. You have a purpose. You are trying to get from “here to there”. You need to drown out all of the noise that distracts you from making the decisions necessary to make your life better. Stop listening to the talking heads and focus and what you can do to get where you need to be.
What are you going to do today to look past the headlines and take charge of what you want for your life?
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