FINANCIAL FOCUS: Help yourself reduce investment stress

Joe Faulk

Joe Faulk

Published: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 09:00 PM.

You probably aren’t too worried about it, but April is Stress Awareness Month.

The Health Resource Network annually sponsors this month to inform people about the dangers of stress and to share successful coping strategies.

Obviously, it’s important to reduce stress in all walks of life — including your investment activities.

Here are a few possible “stress-busters” for that:

• Know your risk tolerance. If you constantly worry about your investments' value, your portfolio may be too volatile for your individual risk tolerance. Conversely, if you always feel that your investments will never provide the growth you need to achieve long-term goals, you might be investing too conservatively.

• Know what to expect. Uncertainty is often a leading cause of stress. So when you purchase investments that are mysterious to you, you shouldn’t be surprised if they perform in ways that raise your stress levels. Never invest in something unless you fully understand its characteristics and risk potential.

• Be prepared for market volatility. Over the long term, the financial markets have trended upward, though their past performance can’t guarantee future results. Yet for months, and even years, these same markets can sputter and decline. So when you invest, be aware of this volatility; if you’re prepared for it, you won’t be shocked when it happens, and you should be able to better keep stress at bay.

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