Principles matter. Principles, rather than feelings, allow you to know what to do when life gets confusing. In the midst of chaos, you need to be able to fall back on your already, well thought out principles. When the U.S. Navy is training our nation's Navy SEALs to protect us, they put them through many phases of training that lasts for an extended period of time. One section of one phase of the training is known as "Hell Week". During this week, the instructors don't introduce anything new to the trainees... however, they apply mass amounts of confusion and a lot of stress to the recruits. The purpose is to see which of the men will fall back on their principles, which men will stick to their training, what they've mastered, and move forward for a greater reward, and which ones will simply give in to the momentary pain and suffering.
How do we apply the above story of SEAL training to what is happening in the markets right now? Principles! We need to know what our philosophy and principles of investing are so that we are able to fall back on our "training" to get us through moments of confusion and pain. Here are my investing principles (and yours too if you are a client of mine):
Own stocks (we believe in free market Capitalism)
Diversify (your portfolio is in 19 asset categories and 46 different countries)
Rebalance (This is done for you inside of your portfolio)
Never, never, never give up or panic.
If we apply these principles to the latest "end of the world" scenarios, what do we do? Nothing! Because we are already doing it. Markets don't go straight up and they don't stay up. By their very nature, markets fluctuate. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But if you stay disciplined and follow your principles, you will be rewarded by the market during your investing life. Let others get caught up in the chaos and quit...for you, stay the course and always call me if you need to.