With the recent horrific deaths of 130 innocent victims in the Paris terror attacks, most people in France – and around the world – are understandably feeling down.
So why in the world are French stocks trending up?
Typically, an unexpected violent event of this magnitude would be a catalyst for a quick decline in stock values—maybe even the start of a correction or a recession. That’s why many economists were surprised that European stocks actually rose about 3% in the trading days after the attacks.
Right now, the economic impact of Paris terror attacks looks to be pretty slim, but that doesn’t mean fear won’t play a role in future stock fluctuations.
Why Fear Shouldn’t Affect Your Decision to Invest in Stocks
The world is a pretty scary place even when terrorists aren’t coordinating multiple same-day attacks in first-world capital cities. Natural disasters and public shootings are just a few of the things that might keep us up at night.
But stock market dips should not be one of them, so cross it off your “worry list” right now!
One of my personal financial heroes, Warren Buffett, puts it thusly: “Be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.”
If you really think about it, there is no bad time to be in the stock market. Here’s why:
If most people are fearful and selling their stocks like crazy, that’s a great time for you to buy those stocks low and sell them high when the market rebounds. If most people are buying like crazy, that’s a good time for you to sell your stocks while prices are going up, up, up!
Here’s What You Should Really Be Afraid Of…
Lots of things will make you lose sleep at night, but financially-speaking, there is only one thing you really have to fear:
Running out of money for retirement.
Americans are living longer than ever, but their portfolios haven’t exactly caught up. Too many hard-working people are still following the cookie cutter, outdated and dangerous advice to allocate more of their savings to bonds as they get older. As I write this, 10-year Treasury Bonds yield 2.2%, while Microsoft’s (MSFT) shares are expected to yield 2.7%, plus it has been buying back its own shares at about 2.5% per year for a 5.2% shareholder yield! And remember, there is a good chance that the dividend will rise over the next ten years – and there is zero chance that the interest paid on a bond will rise!
Putting 100% of your savings in stocks won’t change the world, and it unfortunately won’t help prevent another terrorist attack.
But it will help you achieve the lifestyle goals that are important to you and your loved ones.
When we’re forced to face our own mortality, especially in the wake of international tragedies, we need to think about what’s really important to us and how we’ll get there financially. I truly believe—based on my decades of experience—that investing your money directly into stocks of great companies and NOT into bonds is the way to get where you want to go. Fixed income should come with a warning label, as Warren Buffett said last year. Only the rising income and dividends of productive businesses or shares of those business has outpaced inflation and built solid retirement portfolios for the last 100 years.
Take the First Step to Fighting Financial Fear for Good
Navigating the financial world is more complex these days than ever. Many of my clients have come to me and told me that having someone they can trust by their side has made all the difference in their peace of mind.
As a Registered Financial Advisor (RIA), also known as a fiduciary, I work directly for my clients. They pay me, and me alone—third-party financial services providers do not pay me at all. That means that my clients’ best interests are aligned with our best interests.
Do you already work with a financial advisor? Is he or she a fiduciary? If not, schedule a complimentary financial check-up with me. It’s 100% free, and takes just 15 minutes! And it could make all the difference in living your life without fear AND achieving the lifestyle you deserve.