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Understanding your circles of influence

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The Circle of Concern and Influence

These commissions help pay the bills around here and avoid the need for spammy ads. Enter your email address and click "Get Toolkit". Now check your email to confirm your subscription. There was an error submitting your subscription. Please try again. Email Address. Also, even small streams of additional income from part-time work during retirement can make a dramatic difference over a multi-decade period.

Behavioral biases can have a detrimental impact on investment results see our previous Navigator: Behavioral Finance ; thus, it is crucial for you to be aware of behavioral biases that may impact your financial goals. Although we hold the responsibility of managing your portfolio, we modulate the risk level of your portfolio based on our understanding of your willingness to take risk.

We rely on you to correctly understand and communicate your risk tolerance to us so that we can invest accordingly. For example, it is important to remember that markets are risky, which remains especially true after a 9-year bull market in stocks. One of the worst financial decisions that you could make is to sell your stocks in the middle of a market panic. Wanting to sell during a panic is a natural tendency, of course, but it is a tendency that, if acted upon, could have profoundly negative and permanent consequences for your investment portfolio and your eventual ability to achieve your financial goals.

Right now, while asset prices are high, the urge to buy is the greatest. Similarly, during a bear market, while asset prices are low, the urge to sell is the greatest. The right thing to do is the opposite of what your urge tells you to do. Obviously, such a decline would be more easily weathered by a younger investor with a long time horizon than a retired investor who relies on his or her portfolio for living expenses.

In either case, if this idea is too unimaginable to even consider, you may want to reduce your allocation to stocks. Fortunately, it is an ideal time to consider such a decision given the current bull market. If you are at all wondering about this question for yourself, please call us to discuss further. Second, when stock prices decline significantly, we urge you to resist the natural temptation to ask us to sell.

Buying high and selling low is not a good formula for achieving your long-term financial goals.


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  5. The concerns outside your circle of influence are numerous, and we discuss a few of the more important ones below. Some of these concerns rest on our shoulders to consider as your financial advisor.

    While these risks are generally outside your circle of influence, you still may be able to take certain steps to enlarge your circle of influence and reduce the level of risk that you face. Life happens, and not always in good or predictable ways. Having worked with many clients over the years, we have seen many kinds of unpredictable life developments that can have a detrimental financial impact.

    Some of the adverse life events that might affect you someday include the following:.

    The Circle of Influence and the Last of Human Freedoms

    These situations, while unexpected and unfortunate, occur far too regularly, and they can seriously derail your ability to meet your long-term financial goals. We act as a fiduciary for our clients, and we have no relationship with any insurance companies nor do we sell any insurance to our clients. Therefore, we can provide an unbiased opinion on insurance decisions. With regards to a financially disastrous health event, the best thing that you can do besides buying appropriate health insurance is to take good care of yourself by eating healthily and exercising regularly.

    Pursuing preventative health measures is far less expensive than extended hospitalizations, and they provide health benefits which could save you money and, more importantly, increase the length and quality of your life. Finally, when you experience an adverse life event, we request that you reach out to us so that we can work together in revisiting your financial plan, your financial goals, and possibly your investment strategy.

    When the facts of your life change significantly, your financial plan might have to change too. The prices that Mr. Market assigns to your various financial assets in the future are impossible to predict. With interest rates still at low levels and financial asset prices across many asset classes at near record highs, financial risk currently appears to us to be greater than average. For that reason, we are keeping bond maturities short, and we have a lower exposure to stocks than we might have if stocks were more attractively priced.

    In addition, we try to keep our client investment portfolios diversified across asset classes. What you can do to be proactive: As you already know well, we are not in control of the markets. Proactivity means to constantly work on expanding your circle of influence instead of waiting for things to happen.

    Begin with the end in mind. You should define who you want to become and plan how to do it. Put first things first. This habit is about setting priorities. Handle the most important things first. Delegate the less important things. Eliminate unimportant things. Think win-win. Try to come up with mutually beneficial solutions to problems in your relationships.

    Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Try to really understand others. That will establish a deeper connection and make it easier for you to connect with them. Create a positive atmosphere and combine the strengths of all involved to achieve a goal that none of you could achieve alone. Sharpen the saw. Create a sustainable and positive lifestyle that will allow you to replenish your energy.