Around the world, markets have lost 5% or worse in the past week. Year to date, the S&P 500 is down more than 23%; Russell 2000 small caps off more than 26%; Emerging markets fell about 28%; And the Nasdaq tech index is off more than 31%.

all Kidding aside, September lived up to its reputation as a challenging month for equities. After the brutal sell-off, there was talk of a relief rally, hence the green on your screen this morning.

I’m often asked how market action affects me — my mindset, emotions and behavior. The short answer is very Zen: I understand what I can and cannot control and then adjust accordingly.

Consider this Tweet I bookmarked back in August; this New versionThrough Mindfullenough, gave me the idea to turn it into something investment-related.1 So, the infographic you see above is my attempt to create a visual of my usual writing (hence, why I’m a writer and not an artist).

Let’s discuss a Zen-like approach to recognizing what is actually within your control and the outcome of which things you have absolutely no say in. It’s worth noting that much of what we talk, read, hear and watch on video is out of our control.

which is out of your control:

the market: First and foremost, you have zero control over the market. Someone is something. Your buying and selling of a few thousand or even a few million dollars worth of stocks won’t affect the trillion dollar capital market, they will do whatever your brutal existence does.

the economy: GDP, employment and wages, consumer spending, industrial production, home construction, and the list goes on. As one of 330 million people, your cost isn’t even a rounding error.

Should I continue? You can contribute Inflation, but his infintesimel; You surely have zero influence with it Federal Reserve or interest rate. Did you just buy iPhone? It is not going to affect Corporate income One piece. Likewise, there are you at least effect on restlessness or drawing,; Certainly, what you are reporting has zero effect News, no Will you determine the outcome? National or local elections.

which is under your control:

Your portfolio: You want to build something strong enough to withstand drawdowns and recessions; Not necessarily the best possible set of resources but the ones you can live with day to day. This means it must be suitable for quantity the risk You are comfortable. This includes a wide range Resource allocation complete with diversity Asset class, geography, etc. You must have one Economic planningSo it’s clear what you’re investing in and so you can see how you’re progressing towards those goals.

you must saving Living within your means means enough money relative to your income. You can control yours of tax, planning to sell your stock using various methods that minimize what you pay (guidelines that the IRS has established are very helpful for this, but you should consult a professional to do it right). You can lower what you pay fee And cost (It doesn’t take much to swap expensive funds for cheap ones);

what news media What you consume is also within your control – are you reading too much Uber Bearishness? The religion of Fed haters? zh? These are probably negatively affecting your outlook.

It all comes down to the single most important thing within your control: yourself behavior. If you can master this, it’s nearly impossible not to succeed as a long-term investor.


1. Through the site (and Etsy shop and Instagram account) Mindfulenough.

which is out of your control:
1. Market
2. Resource economics
3. Inflation
4. Federal Reserve
5. Corporate income
6. Restlessness
7. Rate of interest
8. Selection
9. News
10. Drawdowns

which is under your control:
1. Portfolio
2. Resource allocation
3. Savings
4. Financial planning
5. Tax
6. Conduct
7. Costs/Fees
8. Risk
9. Maintaining balance
10. Media Costs

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