Last summer I wrote about the process of expending and restoring energy as a method of performing at your best.
I highlighted “The Power of Full Engagement,” an insightful book that discusses how one can go about, not only performing at a high level, but also taking time to renew energy to continue that high level of performance.
What does this have to do with investing?
A critical component to maximizing long term portfolio returns is to stay committed to your investment philosophy amid the daily and weekly volatility of capital markets.
It is a lot easier to stay committed to your philosophy if you “get on with your life” and ignore the financial noise of the moment.
That is one reason I am so interested in discovering how one can “get on with their life” in a meaningful way. This is especially challenging in today’s world with the ease of staying connecting to outside noise and commotion.
Sometimes my biggest challenge is to stay focused on the task at hand, and turn inward to my own creativity and good energy.
I came across this article in today’s The New York Times that offers some insights into accomplishing just that . . .
Scheduling distractions as a reward for productivity can motivate your brain to stay focused, Dr. Pillay says. Ideally, those distractions should also be good for you — like a massage, a yoga class or just putting on headphones and listening to music. “The brain benefits significantly from breaks,” he says. “You may even come back and feel more creative if you take your mind off its primary focus for a little while.”
If your distraction of choice is Facebook, Twitter or other social media, schedule time for that, says Dr. Epstein, so that you’re proactive, not reactive.
“You control it,” he says, “rather than it controlling you.”
Our childhood was filled with segmented days – elementary school followed a rigid program with intermittent recesses and lunch, high school was separated by class subject, and during college, you had the luxury of building your own schedule – trying to avoid 8am classes.
However, as we move into adulthood and work mode, demanding schedules and bosses begin to dictate our day and before you know it, someone else “owns” us! Even if we have the luxury to schedule out the day, we do a poor job of owning the task and mapping out a less stressful day.
I challenge you to get back to your elementary days – schedule out your day, block out breaks and a proper lunch, and don’t forget to include your home routine as well. Think about including items you want to do more of – read, exercise, sleep 8 hours, play with your children more. Blocking out your time sounds rigid but it allows you to actually have more time for the things you want to do.
I came across a great schedule that allows you to designate the time you want to spend on your daily activities and the remaining hours in a 24 hour period. You may be surprised at the extra time lost in the “chaos” of life and how the things that matter most, often get lost in the passing hours of the day.
But first. . .
Lots of investors are “diehard” indexers (including me).
They (including me) throw out statistics showing that 80% of actively managed mutual funds underperform the market.
When you build a passively managed (indexed) portfolio, you are almost certainly going to outperform the vast majority of professional stockpickers.
But that isn’t the reason I am a Coffeehouse Investor.
The reason I am a diehard indexer is because I am able to embrace an investment philosophy that allows me to focus on what counts – and what doesn’t.
Nationally acclaimed financial columnist Walter Updegrave penned this article that sums it up nicely.
Quit trying to beat the market and start addressing your burn rate.
Thanks to everyone who attended Wednesday’s webinar “Investing through Retirement and Beyond”.
We had a great turnout, with over 450 registered participants from across the nation.
Great questions were presented to us, and we hope to address many of them in the coming days and weeks in this blog.
Jack Bogle, founder and retired chairman of The Vanguard Group has said “This is the most difficult time to invest.” For those in or nearing retirement, creating a sound financial plan has never been more important.
Our webinars will reconvene after the New Year as we have an exciting 2012 curriculum planned. Stay tuned for dates and times.
Oh, and one more comment about this retirement thing . . .
Investing as a twentyfive year-old is easy. Start socking money away in a couple of low-cost index funds and get on with your life.
Investing during retirement is a different story.
Making your money last for what could conceivably be a 25 to 40 year period of unemployment called “retirement” is the most difficult financial challenge you will ever face.
It is daunting enough during normal times.
As you are experiencing, we aren’t in normal times.
Bonds and CDs are generating their lowest returns ever.
Common stocks are not cheap and seem to be as volatile as ever.
As a financial advisor at Soundmark Wealth Management, I address these issues every day with investors from across the nation and even around the world.
Every day I witness the incredibly positive impact the three Coffeehouse principles have on investors in this stage of their lives – people who are reaching their financial goals despite these challenging times.
This Wednesday, at 6 p.m. Pacific time (9 p.m. Eastern), I am going to conduct a webinar titled “Investing For Retirement And Beyond,” revealing to you the importance of embracing these three principles in your life.
Click here to register, and then tell a friend about it, and have them register as well. From a financial planning standpoint, it could be the best decision you make this year that will have a positive impact the rest of your life.