Negative Information Overload

This writing was back in early 2009 as the stock market continued to fall.  The information can still be helpful in many areas.  Brent

As February 2009 ends, we finish another month of a falling stock market and falling account values.  Yet, instead of rehashing in detail a bunch of negative economic and investment information (although a performance chart is at the bottom), I want to share a different thought with you.

 I remember the morning of September 11th and how the shock of what was happening pulled me to the television and news of the event.  I remember a feeling of not wanting to do anything but watch the newscasters tell me the same things over and over sure that something new was just seconds away.  There is a real temptation to react the same way to what is happening in the economy and investment market today.  This slow motion crash can pull us in.  The media has a bias to present news in a way that keeps our attention, sure the next expert will give us all the answers.

I remember one more thing about September 11th, how after a while we hugged our kids (or grandkids), how we analyzed and changed our priorities that tend to skew out of order when left unattended.  Please don't read this as an "everything is great and will all work out - so don't even pay attention to it" message.  There is plenty of bad stuff happening and the stock market is showing it.  Yet, I don't want you overwhelmed with it either.

 If you have found yourself consumed by all the information, then consider trying this.  Select a time frame and date (like quarterly) to review your investments.  Select an annual date to review how the change in portfolio values impact your future plans and adjust if needed.  Beyond those times, limit your news input and go enjoy the good things that God has blessed us with.  So many things are beyond our control.  Fretting over them makes life a lot less enjoyable versus working on the things we can directly impact.