Fearing the Worst

As most people know, Steve Jobs was the founder and brains behind the Apple computers and endured a long battle with pancreatic cancer.  The following is a Steve Jobs quote spoken towards the end of his battle:

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Not let fears stop you from investing properlyAs I read this quote, I begin to realize how fear plays such a major factor in how we live our lives and hinders our decision making process.  In a recent poll by Nationwide Financial, 83% of respondents are afraid of another financial crisis and 62% of respondents are scared of investing in the stock market.  In the same study, 58% fear death and 57% fear public speaking.

People fear investing in the stock market more than they fear death!  Amazing.

In reality, the fear of investing in the stock market (or the concern that there will be another financial crisis) could be better understood by looking at the historical data of the stock market. If you have a financial plan that uses a diversified portfolio, the historical data supports that being invested and remaining invested during the ups and downs of the market will result in a positive outcome.

However, a competent  financial planner will work to have plans in place to allow you to stay invested while still providing income during market downturns.  We addressed some of these plans in the post entitled: Planning Well: Preparing for Future Droughts

A portfolio should – if done properly – be developed using long term historic understanding of not just recent market performance, but as importantly – market volatility.  Understanding and expecting these movements should eliminate the fear that you have and enable you to reach your goals.  The ability to maintain your long term focus is aided by working with a financial coach  who will work with you to maintain your developed plan.

We work as behavior advisors to help our clients understand that the greater concern should be whether you are prepared for your long term goals including a longer retirement than they might expect.  The inability to invest in the stock market could very well hinder your ability to maintain your lifestyle throughout your full retirement years.  And that should be of the utmost importance.

Don’t let fear get in the way of attaining your goals.  Make the choices you have in life count and do not let fear get in your way!  Work with a financial planner to not only establish the plan that can accomplish this for you and your loved ones, but will work with you throughout the years to help you stay focused on the true threats to derail your plans.  We are here to help.

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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