Russia and Your Investments
We got kittens!!!
We now have ten-week-old puffs of cuteness. We got one boy and one girl from the same litter. They are so tiny and adorable. We are quarantining them for a week or so in our largest bedroom. They are way too small to have access to the whole house.
The kids promised to feed them and clean their little box. And they actually followed through! For two days.
They are yet to be named. If anyone has some good ideas for names let me know.
With all of the geopolitical craziness, and it’s subsequent effects on the market, I want all of you to say, out loud:
“Yes, my portfolio value is a lower number now. But I understand that markets go up and down. I understand that this drop is but a small portion of the gain I’ve made over the past few years.”
“Any foreign war or invasion in recent history has had little to no effect on long term stock returns. It doesn’t matter what they say on the news. It doesn’t matter what the ticker symbols say. I am going to go about my day calmly enjoying this beautiful weather.”
I thought this as good a time as any to talk a bit about withdrawing money from an investment portfolio that is not growing.
Faithful followers of the Retirement Revolution already know my core beliefs.
When you retire:
1. Invest the money in a diversified portfolio of stock and bonds (with at least half the money in stocks).
2. Begin spending five percent of your portfolio each year starting the very first year you retire.
3. Live you life with a renewed sense of opportunity and adventure.
At its core, the basic concept is this: Between now and the end of your life, if the above-referenced portfolio does NOT return an average of five percent it will be the first time in modern economic history where it has failed to do so. It would be absolutely unprecedented.
In a sense, you are only spending the money that your money is making.
Now, this can sometimes get psychologically tricky during times of flat growth or even losses in the portfolio.
There will be times when it feels like you are taking money from an account that is going down. You will see your principal reducing as you are spending the money. For many people, this can cause mild to moderate heartburn.
Take an Alka-Seltzer. You are going to be okay.
But sometimes (like in the past two years) you might take out your five percent and see that the portfolio grows above and beyond your withdrawals. “This is great,” you might think, “not only do I get to enjoy the money I’m withdrawing, but my account is actually growing.”
In order to get the most LIFE from your money, you need to come to terms with the fact that the markets do not move in a perfectly straight line. They may temporarily go down but they permanently go up. As Warren Buffett points out, in 1900 the Dow Jones was 66 points. As of this writing, the Dow Jones is trading at over 30,000.
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