4/23 Daybreak Interview: Financial Focus - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

4/23 Daybreak Interview: Financial Focus - Avoiding Investment Stress

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You probably aren't too worried about it, but April is Stress Awareness Month. Each year, the Health Resource Network sponsors this month to inform people about the dangers of stress and to share successful coping strategies. Obviously, it's important to reduce stress in all walks of life — including your investment activities. Here are a few possible financial "stress-busters," provided by Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Andrew Schlafer:

First, know what to expect from your investments. Uncertainty is often a leading cause of stress. So when you purchase investments that are mysterious to you, you shouldn't be surprised if they perform in ways that raise your stress levels. Never invest in something unless you fully understand its characteristics and risk potential.
 
Second, it's important to prepare for market volatility. Over the long term, the financial markets have trended upward, though their past performance can't guarantee future results. Yet for periods of months, and even years, these same markets can sputter and decline. So when you invest, be aware of this volatility; if you're prepared for it, you won't be shocked when it happens, and you should be able to better keep stress at bay.
 
Third, think long term. If you only measure your investment success by short-term results, you can feel frustrated and stressed. But when you stop to consider your objectives, you may find that the most important ones, such as a comfortable retirement, are all long-term in nature. Consequently, it makes more sense to measure the progress you're making with your investments in periods of years, or even decades, rather than days or months. Instead of fretting over your monthly investment statements, compare where you are today versus where you were 10 or 15 years ago. The results may well surprise and help "de-stress" you.
 
Stress Awareness Month will come and go, but by making the right moves, you can help take some of the stress out of investing for a long time to come.
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