November 22


A Guide for Do-It-Yourself Retirement Investing

Jerry and Andrea Jones were your typical retired couple.  Those both worked physically demanding jobs so they celebrated their retirement each day.


Jerry was also somewhat of a worry wort.


“Jerry, we are not going to run out of money,” his wife pleaded, “You pay too much attention to this stuff.  And your investments!  You look at them on your computer every day.  I’m tired of your moods being dictated by those stupid accounts.”


“You don’t understand,” lamented Jerry, “This is our life savings.  If something happens to this money, we won’t be able to pay our bills.  This is a big deal.  I need to stay on top of things.”


“Oh!” exclaimed Andrea, “I didn’t realize that.”


So Jerry went upon his day as usual.  He went to his favorite website where he saw a headline that read The 1929 Stock Market Crash Caught Nearly Everyone Off Guard. Are We Headed for a Similar Fate?


“Hmmmm,” Jerry mused, “This is from Barron’s.  I’ve heard of them. Of my gosh!  What do I do?  Maybe a stock market crash really is imminent.  This is so stressful.  I can’t deal with this.”


Jerry slumped his head down on the table.  The day was already ruined and it wasn’t even 9:00.


“I’m going to take my mind off things by watching TV,” Jerry thought.  He flipped on the national morning show.  Big mistake.


They were interviewing some guy from Wall St. discussing the future of the stock market.


“Our analytics show that the market is oversold.  We don’t know when the market will correct, but the signs are all there.  These are unprecedented times.  We are due for a crash.”  (Does this guy have a crystal ball?)


Jerry felt a sinking feeling in his stomach.


“Ok.  Maybe I should put my money in something guaranteed like a CD or annuity,” Jerry thought.  “Sure I won’t make as much money, but at least I won’t lose any.  I will let things cool off a bit, and when the markets are safe again I will reinvest the money back in.”  (This thought process is incredibly common and incorrect on many levels.)


Jerry went about his day and that evening he checked his email box.  It was mostly junk mail.  “I must be signed up for 100 newsletters,” Jerry chuckled.


As he continued to peruse his inbox he saw an article his buddy Phil forwarded to him.  “Gold price: Here’s why the yellow metal could double, and the best ways to buy it.”


“Phil really studies this stuff,” Jerry thought.  “And I keep seeing these commercials on TV about how safe gold can be.  Maybe I should buy some of that. I don’t even know how that stuff works.”


For the day, the Dow Jones had lost 400 points or .5% of its value.  “I just lost $5,000 in one day!  I just can’t deal with this anymore,” Jerry cried out to the heavens.


Jerry slept restlessly, pondering a life where he’s living only on Social Security in subsidized housing, eating Ramen noodles every night.  “Andrea is going to kill me if I lose our life savings,” Jerry felt his blood pressure rising.


<end of story>


Does this sound like you or someone you know?   I may be exaggerating a bit for dramatic effect, but I know this story will resonate with quite a few of you.  You are surrounded by relentless noise about your retirement savings.  Everyone has an opinion.


What is the answer?  Is there an answer?


I believe so.  You need to find a fiduciary that you trust.  Sadly, this is not an easy thing to do.


If you have a trusted advisor, any time something alarming crosses your path, you can simply say, “My advisor handles that. I don’t even need to think about it.  He’s the professional.  If there is something I need to do he will tell me.”


I can’t emphasize this enough.  The more I live in the world of retirement finances, the more I realize no one can do this on their own.  Sure, there are some of you do-it-your-selfers out there.  But it is exceedingly rare.


And if you go at it alone, can you really trust yourself in your seventies or your eighties?  Can you really trust yourself to never make an emotional decision?  Do you really have the discipline to tune out all the noise?


Can you withstand the fear tactics?  Can you withstand the market temporarily dropping 20%?


I absolutely love my job.  I see people like you breath deep signs of relief each day in my office, as they pass on the responsibility of investing their money to me. I see their shoulders noticeably relax.


You don’t need to live in fear and uncertainty.  A disciplined approach to investing in stocks and bonds is a long-term strategy that works.  It’s been proven over 200 years.


The difficult part is finding the right person.  Whoever handles your money needs to be smart, reliable, and have the utmost integrity.


Even if you find this person, oftentimes they leave the business.  The turnover rate in the financial services industry is 95%.  Some of you have experienced being passed from one advisor to the next.


This is all to say that there is hope.  Many people don’t even know where to start.  Do you look someone up in the phone book?  I recommend you ask around to your friends and family.  I know it can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but you need to initiate that first meeting.


Often times it helps to work with an established advisor who has written a book called “You Never See a Hearse Pulling a Trailer.”  Which is available for $19.99 on Amazon.  LOL


Be Blessed,




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