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There is an old expression that bears reviewing right now: A rising tide lifts all boats. So what happens when the tide goes out? Perhaps we get to see the condition of the boats below the water level.

Certainly the tide of market performance is going out as we are experiencing the current unsettled investment landscape. Our retirement plans and other savings have been climbing nicely and many of us have blessedly forgotten the lessons of prior market adjustments. It has been so easy to invest our dollars and watch them increase that many of us have not paid as much attention as we need to these valuable assets.

Until we are faced with the turmoil we are currently living through, we let life occupy our attention and allow our financial assets to rise and fall unattended. So, what are the lessons we should try to learn this time around?

  1. Markets are adjusting, do we know where our money is? Would this not be a good time to take stock of what we have and where it is sitting? Perhaps we might be motivated to create an investment plan rather than just let things happen randomly.
  2. Markets rise, markets fall, we need to keep our emotions as even as possible. There are those whose blood pressure rises and falls with the markets. Certainly this is no way to live. It is time to come to grips with our money and what it means to us.
  3. Is our money sitting in places we understand and are comfortable with? If not, who are our advisors and how quickly can we get together with them?
  4. If we don’t spend it we don’t have to earn it. Now would be a good time to look at our budgets and spending patterns. Also, it might be a good idea to determine what our investment expenses are. We cannot control how our money grows, but we can make choices about the cost of the investments we hold.

In summary, spending less and saving more will produce better results for all of us. We cannot control what markets do, but we can certainly impact on how much money we contribute and where it is working.

For assistance with any of these vital tasks, or just to talk about your investments – contact us at Czajkowski Dumpel & Associates, Inc. – We are here to help!