Recent reminders from Mr. Market

Last week, I gave away the secret to retirement income planning. Just follow the six steps and you're likely to have great success. Most of us find this boring, difficult, stressful and unrewarding. As if that isn't enough, we have to fight against the media and invest in what appears like crazy stock markets.

In October, Mr. Market threw our portfolios for a loop--as he always does over short periods of time--and may have made it hard for you to stay focused on what matters most. Let's look at the markets, in spite of how unimportant they are in your long-term success.

Yes, the markets don't matter. Not in comparison to your ability to make decisions that are in alignment with your goals. This is what makes a huge difference for your personal financial success--your ability to keep your focus on what means the most to you over the time-frame that matters. So, in spite of my best efforts to keep us all oblivious to the mundane and the irrational, let's look at the recent past.

Last month, October, US stocks fell nearly 10% before they rallied back and, as of today's writing, they are higher than they were before that decline. If you did not notice, good job!

Last month, bonds were nearly the inverse of stocks, rising in price as stocks declined, and then falling in price as stocks came back.

One of our fundamental tenants is that you own not enough of any one investment to be killed by it (financially) or make a killing by owning it. If you invest nothing other than our most elegant portfolio, with a little of each of these stocks and bonds, then you had a smoother ride than either investment on its own.

If you'd like a more detailed summary of the recent market activity, and some insights from our research team about why, then click on this link.

Remember the key drivers of your financial health are:
1. Spend less.
2. Save and invest more.
3. Avoid big mistakes.

Our wealth managers are your resource to cover the details!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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