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3 Things 1-23

Thing One Below is an excerpt of a blog post from 2016 written by a savvy investor and friend. Please note that the DIJA was 17,865 at the time and it is almost double that today - in less that 7 years: "...It's a scary time in the stock market. Or is it? Stock market prices are high, and the pundits are saying it's time for the market to fall. But then again, maybe prices will continue to rise for a while and then drop. Or they may fall today, next week, next month, or next year --- by a lot. And when that happens, it can be scary until fear subsides and calm returns --- which it always does --- but who knows when? Not I, that's for sure. As a result, many individuals are getting scared about falling share prices, and the so-called experts are adding to the FUD factor, aka Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Is it time to sell and head for the sidelines until the dust settles? Or should we stay the course and hang in there until the all-clear signal arrives? In other words, what's an individual investor in it for the long haul supposed to do? Well, this individual investor is doing nothing other than what he ordinarily does. If I decide to sell something, which I do from time to time, it will be so I am in position to buy something else that is deemed to be a better investment. But staying diversified is always important so I won't load up on any single stock or sector. I will play put and take, and let the short-term chips fall where they may. After all, one thing I know for sure is that nobody knows for sure what will happen to stock prices in the near term. I sure don't. And three other things I know are that (1) over time stock prices increase, (2) dividends received on blue-chip stocks now and for the foreseeable future will yield more than interest paid on bonds (or gold and CDs), and (3) that stock prices inevitably will fall from time to time, and sometimes hard. The simple fact is that people who sell during times like this tend to stay away from buying again until prices have increased to heights greater than current levels. That is the classic playbook definition of what not to do as a long-term oriented individual investor --- sell low and buy high..."

Thing Two Where Are You? Here is some data on median and average household retirement savings by age group compiled by Vanguard: Ages 65-74 Average $426,000 Median $164,000 Ages 55-64 Average $408,000 Median $134,000 Ages 45-54 Average $254,000 Median $100,000 Ages 34-44 Average $131,000 Median $60,000 Under 35 Average $30,000 Median $13,000 While it might be interesting to know where you are relative to others in your cohort, you shouldn't get overly concerned with that perspective. Instead, consider where you are relative to where you would like to be and get after it. Contact us if you’d like some help.

Thing Three Just A Thought "Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have, so spend it wisely." - Kim Lyons


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