01-31-2019 Columns

What can investors learn from “big game” teams? In February, TV stations the world over will broadcast the most-watched U.S. football game of the year. But sports fans aren’t the only ones viewing this “big game,” held in Atlanta this year. The two teams competing are watched closely by the teams that didn’t qualify. That’s because these teams can learn a lot from the contenders. In fact, “big game” teams can teach some valuable lessons to many groups and individuals – including investors. What investment insights can you gain from observing these teams? Here are a few to consider: A good “offense” is important. “Big game” teams usually have the ability to score a lot of points. They can run the ball, pass the ball and move up the field quickly. As an investor, you also need to constantly seek gains – in other words, you need an “offense” in the form of an investment portfolio capable of producing long-term growth. Consequently, you will need a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented vehicles, such as stocks and stock-based mutual funds, in your holdings. Yes, these types of investments carry risk, including the potential loss of principal. But you can help reduce your risk level by holding investments for the long term – giving them time to possibly overcome the short-term drops that will inevitably occur – and by diversifying your overall portfolio with other types of investments, such as bonds and government securities, that will likely not fluctuate in value as much as stocks. A strong “defense” is essential. In addition to having good offenses, “big game” teams are also typically strong on defense. They may give up yardage, and going against a strong offense, they will also give up points, but they still often stop their opponents from making the big, game-breaking plays. As someone with financial goals, such as protecting your family’s lifestyle and helping send your children to college, you, too, have much to defend – and one of the best defensive moves you can make is to maintain adequate life insurance. Also, to protect your own financial independence – and to defend against the possibility of becoming a burden to your adult children – you may want to explore some type of long-term care insurance, which can help pay for the extraordinarily high costs of an extended nursing home stay. The ability to adjust a strategy is essential. If a “big game” team is trailing, it very well might decide to switch its game strategy – perhaps they tried to keep the ball on the ground but fell behind, requiring them to throw more passes to catch up. You also will need to evaluate your progress toward your goals to determine if you may need to adjust your strategy. To illustrate: If your current portfolio is not providing you with the returns you need to retire comfortably, you may well need to adjust your investment mix to provide more growth potential, but within the context of your risk tolerance and time horizon. The “big game” is the culmination of a season of hard work by two teams that have achieved the highest level of success. And by applying the lessons you’ve learned from these teams, you can help contribute to your own success. Edward Jones is a licensed insurance producer in all states and Washington, D.C., through Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P. and in California, New Mexico and Massachusetts through Edward Jones Insurance Agency of California, L.L.C.; Edward Jones Insurance Agency of New Mexico, L.L.C.; and Edward Jones Insurance Agency of Massachusetts, L.L.C. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Focusing on your priorities The biggest concern I heard repeatedly from members of our community while knocking countless doors throughout Southwest Michigan is that the cost of our auto insurance is unreasonably high. The fact that Michigan pays twice as much as our neighboring states, and the highest rates compared to every state in the nation, is unacceptable. That’s why I was incredibly pleased when Speaker Chatfield announced the creation of a special house committee whose sole purpose is to find a way to lower our insurance costs. This committee will be led by my colleague, Speaker Pro-Tem Jason Wentworth.

I’ve met with Representative Wentworth and conveyed the concerns so many of you shared with me on your doorsteps. He shares my concerns about the cost of our auto insurance rates and is dedicated to running an open committee that will hear every angle of the issue. I feel very confident that this committee will produce much needed reform and that we will soon have an insurance system that provides the coverage hard-working Michiganders deserve at a price that they can afford.

Reforming auto insurance was a top priority for my constituents and will continue to be a top priority for me in Lansing. I look forward to working on this issue, and the other priorities of the people in our community.

I encourage you to share your ideas with me by attending my coffee hours, connecting with me on social media, or by reaching out to my office at 517-373-1403 or via email at PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov.

Go Red for Women On Friday, Feb. 1, residents in the 21st Senate District and throughout the state of Michigan will celebrate Go Red for Women. National Wear Red Day is promoted by the American Heart Association to help raise awareness of women’s heart health. Participants, including myself and all of my female colleagues in the Senate, are wearing red to bring attention to cardiovascular disease with a goal of helping save women’s lives.

Some women may not be aware that heart disease strikes women more often than men. In fact, heart disease claims the lives of more women than all forms of cancer, combined. Yet, despite everything that we know about heart health, cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health risk. Even so, eighty percent of so-called cardiac events can be prevented through education and the discipline to make and keep lifestyle changes. Simple things like eating better, being physically active, and having regular health checks are all important ways to be heart healthy. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke are also vital.

If you are a woman or care about the women in your lives, please take advantage of this opportunity to educate yourself and others about women’s heart health. It might just help save a life. For more information, visit https://www.goredforwomen.org.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the important issues facing Southwest Michigan. You can reach me at 517-373-6960 or SenKLaSata@senate.michigan.gov.