A Long-Term Point of View

June 2nd 2014, by Garrison R. North

Each morning I like to scan the financial news to get the pulse of the market. I usually try to stay away from the opinion pieces, but every once in a while a catchy headline draws me in. “Economist guru says we are heading for another recession!” “Highly respected professor insists the current market run will continue!” I usually think to myself, “How can all of these intelligent, well informed people have such polarizing positions on the same topics day in and day out?” It is easy to see that the media knows what sells, and right now, they are selling all of the strong opinions they can find, whether negative or positive.

It is easy to fall into the trap of getting caught up in the short-term when it comes to our investments, and it is also easy to do this in our daily lives. I constantly find that I am focusing on the wrong things on a day-to-day basis. Whether it is worrying about getting to a meeting on time, figuring out how I am going to get a large amount of tasks done in one day or even thinking about how hungry I am before dinner, these short-term distractions can easily cloud our long-term outlook on life. Instead of being thankful that we each have a car we can drive, a job that challenges us and good home-cooked meals each night, we focus too much on the little things that will  just be forgotten when we wake up the next morning.

It is no different with our investments. We get caught up worrying about the crisis in Ukraine, the Federal Reserve or the upcoming elections rather than focusing on our long-term goals and objectives. We forget that we have a long-term plan in place that is built with an objective of meeting our needs down the road. Let’s stop worrying about dinner tonight, and focus on the food that will feed us in the future.