Marty Brown, Claris Advisors, St. Louis
Recently, a set of dueling media headlines caught my attention. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal each reacted differently to the jobs report from December 2012. Both news reports appeared on January 5, 2013.
If you read The Washington Post, you probably felt somewhat optimistic about economic recovery. On the other hand, if you read The Wall Street Journal, you may have been left feeling skeptical (or more skeptical) about economic recovery. These headlines explain why.
“Jobs Report Builds Hope” (The Washington Post)
“Tepid Job Growth Fuels Worry” (The Wall Street Journal)
Same jobs report, two completely different headlines and two different takes on the latest economic numbers. Should we be hopeful, or should we worry? Which viewpoint was correct? The answer is it doesn’t matter to a well-designed investment plan.
As investors, we should not let things that are not within our power dictate our investment decisions or disrupt our financial plans. Instead, we should focus on those things that are within our control such as how much risk we take, how much we pay to invest and how much we spend. This way, our financial future will not be at the whim of personal opinion.
If you gave just a quick glance to the story in The Post, you likely would have felt emboldened about the construction industry’s badly needed rally. If you gave a quick glance to the story in The Journal, you likely would have felt frustrated over the overall job market’s sluggish growth. The varying viewpoints demonstrate the importance of not altering your financial plan based on headlines you read or opinions you hear. Strong investment plans focus on the big picture, not fleeting glances.
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