Are you nervous about your personal finances? The irrational exuberance of the 90s that led to double-digit gains for almost any investment portfolio is over. Now, you might consider yourself fortunate if your investments are losing less than the S&P 500. Add investment worry to the regular personal finance worries of meeting your monthly budget, slaying the debt dragon, and starting/building that elusive emergency fund. Will your savings and investments be able to meet your retirement, childrens college funds, and other goals? Although no one can see the future, there are things that you can do to reduce your worries.
Knowledge Is Power
Learn and become more skilled in financial matters. The best way to improve your financial education is to read personal-finance magazines, books, and even newspapers. The educational materials sent out by mutual-fund companies and brokerages are also valuable. You may come across conflicting information and advice, but if you read widely, you will eventually get a better idea of how to manage your money.
Do-it-yourselfers are not the only people who can benefit from learning more. If you use a financial planner and yet are knowledgeable about investments, insurance, etc., you are more likely to end up with a solid financial plan. If you find yourself teamed up with a inadequate or unethical adviser, and you have a good understanding of investing, you are more likely to recognize bad advice.
Fear Creates Worry
“Greed is good!” says Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street. Recent investment losses, corporate scandals, and a stagnant economy refute that statement. Instead, a warning is emerging in personal finance forums as we search and hope for indications that relief is in sight. Fear is bad! Fear has driven many investors either to dump stocks and load up on bonds, certificates of deposit and other conservative investments or, even worse, to stop saving and investing. This creates new problems. People will be incapable of achieving their long-term financial goals because their portfolio may now be so conservative that it won’t deliver the returns needed to retire in comfort, or they are simply saving too little.
Faced with this fear and uncertainty, financial knowledge is more important than ever. Instead of reacting to the markets ups and downs, learn more about the characteristics of stocks, bonds, and other investments; as well as the broad array of personal finance and money management topics.
About The Author
This review is courtesy of John Q. Miller at http://www.MoneyLighthouse.com where you can find personal finance information to help you navigate through the fog of money management. You may purchase personal finance books from the site at an incredible discount too!