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Making Sense of Financial Data

This is a great article by Michael Kay.  It points out the futility of trying to make your financial decisions on factors that you cannot control.  Toward the end of the article, he identifies Ten Steps to a more meaningful financial life, which include:

  1. Articulate your goals: What MUST happen for you to feel satisfied based on your values.

  2. Create a plan that is consistent with your goals and your ability to deal with market volatility.

  3. Relegate financial statistics and data along with the newsletters and magazine articles into the classification of investment pornography; it’s titillating, but can easily lead to trouble-it’s just noise.

  4. Assess your risk tolerance-how much pain can you endure before you abandon your plan. Don’t adjust your risk tolerance to over ambitious goals.

Practically every day, the government, corporations, think-tanks, pollsters and associations release data into the already burgeoning stream of information for the media and consumer to lap up and absorb.  The problem is, it is mostly useless. Not because the information is bad, although it might very well be skewed, but once it is released for our consumption-what do we do with it?  Our choices are limited to applying our own points of view in determining relevancy, or relying on someone else, whose opinions we agree with or ignore it all together.  Either way, …..

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