Napolitano looks at money.
I think Charlie Brown had it right, “Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.”
We have lots to worry about. We worry about our family, our health, our finances, traffic and literally anything that may contain some element of risk. Some concerns lessen over time and with positive experiences in dealing with that risk. Take driving, for example, you know that there’s always the risk that something tragic can happen while driving. But your life experience that has led you to dismiss this risk unless you have personal experience with a tragic driving situation in the life of anyone you know. You also may take proactive measures to reduce your risk while driving. You use seat belts, avoid lousy road conditions from traffic or weather issues, buy a safe car and other matters. While you can’t completely mitigate your risk while driving, you also may not be able to avoid driving completely.
That also applies to about every aspect of your financial life. While you may worry about declines in financial markets or the value of your home, you know that these may be risks you have to live with to achieve your life’s objectives as you saw them a few months back. The moral of this story is twofold.
First is to control the risks that you can. Second is to enjoy the positives in your life.
As it relates to controlling risk, you can avoid it, reduce it or insure it. When this is applied to your financial life, know that any choice you make has consequences. If you choose to insure against portfolio declines, realize that you may be accepting a rate of return that will not allow you to achieve your life’s goals. This choice may require a re-examination of your goals and recalibrating them to your new reality. This may include spending less or earning more from employment.
As it relates to your health, you can choose to live in a way that protects you against the COVID-19 virus. Or, you can fly around the world visiting friends and family and pay little mind to the requests of health care professionals that you limit interaction and place yourself or someone else in harm’s way.
So let’s choose to focus on what you can control and the good things in your life. While everyones definition of good things vary, we all have good things that occur every day. For example, I woke up today. That’s good and way better than the alternative. I’m able to Facetime with children and grandkids. I’m able to conduct staff meetings and client meetings using technology. The heat works in the house, and I know that spring and better weather is around the corner.
Each day, start with a few things that are good in your life. For that is just as contagious as fear and anxiety.