Investing in your Future
What Can Investors Learn from Roller Coaster Rides?
If you have an interest in looking up obscure holidays and celebrations, you will find that August 16th is National Roller Coaster Day. As you know, a roller coaster is used as a metaphor for many areas of life – including the financial markets. As an investor, what can you learn from this thrill ride? Here are a few suggestions: Don’t jump off. This is pretty standard advice for all roller coaster riders – but it is also a good recommendation for investors. Specifically, you do not want to exit the financial markets when they turn volatile. It can be tempting to do so, because the markets do indeed experience dizzying drops from time to time. But if you jump out of the markets when they are down, you may be on the outside when they start their climb, potentially missing out on gains. Protect yourself. When you are on a roller coaster, you are typically advised to keep your arms and legs inside the car to protect your extremities from dangerous contact with the track and other cars. As an investor, you also need to protect yourself from dangers such as a market downturn. If you owned just one type of asset, such as aggressive growth stocks, and a downturn occurred, you would likely take a big hit. One of the best ways to help avoid this possibility is to diversify your holdings among stocks, bonds and other investments. Although diversification cannot guarantee a profit or protect against losses, it can help reduce the impact of volatility on your portfolio. Keep looking forward. When you are on a roller coaster, you do not want to look backward. Not only could you strain your neck, but you will also be unprepared for the ups, downs, twists and turns that await you. When you invest, you want to keep looking forward as well. By keeping your eyes, and your focus, on your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you can be better prepared to follow a consistent strategy designed to help get you to your destination. Do not bring extra baggage. For obvious reasons, it is not a good idea to bring any loose or extra baggage inside a roller coaster car that may have you going upside down at 90 or so miles per hour. As an investor, you do not want to be saddled with any extra “baggage”, either – and one of the biggest sources of this baggage is unrealistic expectations. If you think you will earn double-digit returns every year, you will likely be disappointed – and your disappointment could lead you to make unwise decisions, such as constantly buying and selling investments to improve your performance. This type of activity is expensive, time-consuming and usually futile. So, when you invest, maintain realistic expectations – it can help you stay on track toward your goals. By following these basic guidelines for roller coasters, you will enjoy a safer ride. And by observing similar rules for investing, you can help make your investment “journey” smoother – and less scary. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Are We Safe?
As I travel across Southwest Michigan this month I’ve met with folks of all stripes, many stop me and ask a simple question: Are we safe? The threat of radical Islamic terror hangs like a cloud over many Americans – and is not a threat that we should take lightly at all. Here in the House of Representatives we’re committed to ensuring that our foreign policy and homeland security is focused on common sense ways to make sure that we are safe. We must make it a top national priority to prevail in the war against radical Islamic extremism. We must make it a top national priority to protect our homeland by keeping terrorists out of our country and preventing cyber-attacks. We must make it a top national priority to tackle new threats as they arise. And we must make it a top national priority to defend freedom not only at home but also abroad. In May, the House advanced the National Defense Authorization Act by a bipartisan vote of 277-147. This is an important step that funds our military, gives our active duty personnel a much deserves pay-raise, and raises the importance of cyber-security. I will continue to make our national security and providing for our men and women in our military, and their families, a top priority. They deserve nothing less. To learn more about this and other important legislative issues, please visit my website: upton.house.gov.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife Sue and I got the opportunity to kayak the Paw Paw River between Hays Park in Watervliet and the public works building in Coloma. While we have canoed and kayaked before, we had never explored this particular stretch of the Paw Paw. After rounding the bend out of Hays Park, you are immediately struck by the beauty of the area. While we were part of a large group and not in the most rural spot, the quiet combined with the subtle sounds of nature surrounded us as we made our way west. My friends Jerry Willmeng and Rick Rasmussen, who pushed for a state grant to clear the river and provide better access, were on the trip as well. I can assure you the grant dollars are needed, and will be a big benefit for the Coloma-Watervliet area. My turning skills need some fine tuning as I got stuck in a few trees. Sue was a bit more nimble with the paddle and had to wait for me on a couple of occasions. The biggest takeaway is this – traveling this section of the Paw Paw River is very similar to being in Northern Michigan. The trees, the speed of the river, all take you to a place that is hundreds of miles away on a meandering stream. It’s Pure Michigan. The $100 thousand grant that Representative Nesbitt and I worked on will allow easier access and use of the Paw Paw River. Clearing the debris along the route creates the opportunity for a real destination water trail. It will mean future generations will be able to appreciate nature and the outdoors. It means wholesome family fun, recreation, and an appreciation of the special environment that is Southwest Michigan. As always, questions or comments can be made by contacting us at 888-656-0079 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make the rest of summer… Pure Michigan.
Celebrating Family Fun Month
Summertime may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean an end to the fun. Michigan offers families a wide variety of outstanding late summer and early fall outdoor activities, such as boating, fishing, golfing and attending local festivals. We’re blessed to have natural and cultural resources that make our state a great place to live and raise a family. August is National Family Fun Month, and I encourage area residents to celebrate by enjoying one of the numerous outdoor activities available throughout Michigan. Residents can visit one of more than 40 Michigan water parks or aquatic centers, spend a day relaxing at one of Southwest Michigan’s beautiful beaches or take a family bike ride along miles of Michigan trails. It’s not just about fun. Children with involved parents tend to fare better in school and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Spending more time together as a family strengthens family bonds and helps kids develop positive parenting skills. As the summer comes to a close, the school year is about to start. A quality education is critical in developing strong leaders, and students with involved parents are more motivated and set higher career goals. Simply helping children understand classroom material at an early age can help improve their chances for success through high school and college. To parents of first-time students, this time may seem daunting. Relax. One of the best things you can do to ensure a child’s academic success is simply to be there for them. Have fun as summer ends, and have a wonderful school year. As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on the important issues facing Michigan. You can contact me at 517-373-6960.
Staying healthy at the Fair
By BCHD Staff
Interacting with animals can be a wonderful experience, both for children and adults. However, even healthy animals can carry bacteria and other organisms that can sometimes make people sick. People can catch these organisms where animals are present, especially when contact with animals is encouraged. The primary mode of transmission is hand to mouth after touching animals’ fur, hair, skin and saliva that has become contaminated with fecal organisms. These animals may show no signs of illness and the bacteria can live months or years in the environment. Therefore, it is important that all visitors take precautions to avoid illness. Be sure to supervise children in animal areas, and do not allow them to touch animals and then put anything in their mouths. No one should eat or drink in an animal area. Washing your hands is the simplest way to prevent the spread of infection. Proper hand washing techniques need to be practiced at all times, but especially when in contact with animals. To properly wash your hands, wet your hands under warm water, create a lather with soap, and scrub vigorously for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice). Then rinse the soap off and dry your hands with a disposable paper towel. Use this paper towel to turn off the sink, as the handles may still be contaminated. Hand sanitizers can also be effective if soap and water are not available. Do not use hand sanitizers with water. Visit the Berrien County Health Department website at www.bchdmi.org or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bchdmi to learn more about this and other health topics.