June 7

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Perfect Beach Day?

My wife saw another migraine specialist, and it appears we finally have an accurate diagnosis. Hemicrania Continua, a relatively rare condition, is a constant migraine that is only experienced on one side of the head. I've had so many of you reach out for support and advice. Thank you! My wife wants me to remind you that it takes strength to be vulnerable and ask for help. We are all in this together.

Now that summer vacation has begun, the pool is getting more use. My youngest, Jesse, got together four other kids in the neighborhood to start a new friend group. They are over every day. That kid is such a social butterfly. He can make friends with anyone.

As I write this, Senay and four of her friends sit poolside eating pizza. I was disappointed at how little use the pool has gotten. It is such an expensive hassle to maintain, so I'm thrilled to see it getting used.

The puppy hates the water, but Desmond can't get enough of it.



The following stories show how two different people handled the same financial event in entirely different ways.

Does the world seem crazier than ever? It sure feels that way. A few people out there may be nervous. How can the stock market continue its impressive run? Let’s consider a scenario where the market suddenly drops 10% or so.

First off, Paul.

Paul had retired a year earlier and began living off of his savings. Watching his account drop as he made withdrawals was putting him under intense stress. This is it, he thought to himself. I’m going to have to start looking for a job. I worked so hard for the money, and now I’m watching it disappear so quickly. I am sick about this.

Paul went out of his way to learn more about the financial markets. The more he tried to understand, the more frustrated he became. I am more confused than ever, he thought. There are so many options and opinions. Who do I trust? Everything seems to have its pros and cons. All I know is that I see my life savings draining away.

Paul started having a hard time sleeping. He would wake up in the middle of the night with a start, thinking about money. All we have to fall back on is Social Security, but we can’t rely solely on that. It would take forever to make that money again. I’m so dumb. I am too old to invest. What should I do? I know I need to at least keep up with the inflation rate.

Paul continued to stress his body each day the markets happened to be down. Sure, there were some really good days in there, but most were bad. The bad days hurt a lot more than the good days felt good.

Paul found himself checking the stock market multiple times a day. It almost became an obsession. Whenever he had a spare moment, he would check his phone's “stocks” app. Whenever he had any expenses, he cringed at the thought of running out of money.

You can be like him if you want to, but please don’t be like Paul.

Now, let’s check in with Tina.

Tina’s investments also experienced this exact scenario, but Tina didn’t even know it. She never got around to opening her statements and didn’t put much effort into paying attention to financial matters. She took note of the monthly income check from her portfolio that was deposited into her bank account and never thought much else about it.

Tina thought to herself, What am I going to do today? The weather is beautiful. Perfect beach day. I’ve got to plan a trip up to Pennsylvania to visit the grandkids. Being retired is great. You don’t have to answer to anyone; you can make your own schedule!

Ultimately, her strategy of investing in a balanced and diversified portfolio worked perfectly. The markets rebounded and continued to grow as they had for decades.

Both Paul and Tina had identical investment returns and results but completely different emotional experiences.

Actually, that may not be true. There is a good chance Paul made some emotional decisions along the way, which dramatically reduced his earnings. Ironically, the more attention he paid to his portfolio, the less money it made.

Your reaction to volatile and uncertain times separates successful and unsuccessful investors. You will reap profound long-term returns if you can handle temporary reductions in your account values.

Many of you have said to me, “I know the markets will come back at some point, but I don’t have time. I’m retired.”

Let’s review a quick history lesson. The markets have had significant downturns four times in the past 90 years.

World War II. The markets recovered in 3 years.

Oil Embargo in the ’70s. Markets recovered in 3.5 years.

The internet dot com bubble in the early 2000s. Markets recovered in 3.5 years.

The real estate bubble in 2008. It took 3.5 years for your portfolio to recover.

This idea that you’ll have to wait ten years to get your money back is historically unprecedented.

You have friends and family who are experiencing these concerns right now. Share these words with them and give them the relief they deserve.

Be Blessed,

Dave

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