One question I am asked a lot is “What did the market do today?”
Most of the time my answer is “I don’t know.”
Not that I am trying to be flip; I honestly do not know.
Yes, I am in the financial business and yes, my clients invest in stocks and bonds. Truth be told, the direction of the market, up or down, is not a factor in determining a client’s portfolio. Their individual goals are the factor. Asking what the market did today is like taking your temperature each day and using that to judge your overall health. 98.6°, I must be healthy!
I believe the question people should be asking is: am I on track to meet my goals? To me, that is a more important question because I measure my client’s success against the likelihood of them achieving these goals. If you were able to beat the market ever year in retirement, but still ran out of money, how successful is that?
Your measure should be: am I able to live the life that I want? The focus should be on your goals, risk level, spending, savings, children, grandchildren, family, health, taxes, insurance, charitable giving…the list is endless. This list is the driver of your success in meeting your goals and being able to live the life you want, not the direction of the market. The market is going to do what the market has always done, you have no control over it. But you do have control over yourself, your goals and your dreams.