We’re getting close to Labor Day, a celebration of the men and women who roll up their sleeves and go to work each day. If you’re in the workforce yourself, you can appreciate this recognition of your efforts. And as an investor, you can employ these attributes of the American worker:
• Organization – The most productive workers are those who organize their time and efforts to maximize their productivity. When you invest, organization is also important. You might have trouble gaining traction toward your goals, such as a comfortable retirement, if you own a bunch of scattered investments that aren’t really working together to help you. Instead, try to build a portfolio in which all your investments combine to provide the opportunities for growth and income you need to help reach your objectives.
• Perseverance – As workers, all of us go through difficult times, whether with our bosses, co-workers or even the work itself – but we persevere. As an investor, you, too, will experience bumps in the road, in the form of market downturns. Yet, if you avoid making hasty and ill-advised moves in response to potential short-term volatility, you can maintain your focus on your long-term needs and goals – and, as a result, you can help improve your chances of meeting those needs and attaining those goals.
• Vision – Workers put in their time, year after year, because they have a vision of what they hope their efforts will yield – a rewarding career, sufficient financial resources for their family, and so on. As an investor, you also can benefit from articulating a picture of what you hope to achieve. And that means you need to be specific about what you want. Instead of saying to yourself, ‘I’d like to retire comfortably someday,’ pin yourself down as to what this really means. At what age would you like to retire? Will you want to travel the world or stay close to home to pursue your hobbies? How much money will you need to make these wishes come true? Where will this money come from? By answering these and other questions, you can define a vision for your financial future, leading you to the next step – creating a strategy to help turn this vision into reality.
• Diversity – The American workforce benefits from drawing on the experiences and viewpoints of people from all different backgrounds. When you invest, you should also seek diversity. If you only owned one type of investment vehicle, such as growth stocks, and the market hit a downturn, your portfolio would likely take a big hit. It’s a given that the value of investments will fluctuate, which means, under some circumstances, you could lose some or all of your principal. But if you spread your dollars among a range of vehicles – including stocks, bonds, government securities, certificates of deposit and real estate – you can reduce the impact of volatility on your holdings. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification, by itself, does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss.)
Labor Day will come and go quickly. But by emulating some of the characteristics of the American workforce, you can continue making progress toward your goals – without even having to work overtime.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor (member SIPC). Contact Stan at Stan.Russell@edwardjones.com.