Dow Hits 20,000: Now What?

Dow Hits 20,000: Now What?

Hey folks, it’s just a number. It has very little to do with your long-term investment plan. After all, it’s only 30 stocks that are mostly not industrial anymore.

The media likes drama. In fact, other parts of our society like drama too. The purpose of marking these events has people reading, watching or listening to stories or posts that supposedly bring them insight into how they should live their lives or change their lives or habits.  However, in my opinion, it lets advertisers entice you to click on an ad if you’re digital or glance at an ad in a paper format.

 Habits are what I’d like to focus on today.  The first is the habit of saving. Recent research shows that saving as much as you can, as early as you can, enables you to become financially independent at an earlier age. That’s a powerful position to be in and enables you to think: “You need me, more than I need you” when it comes to employers and clients/customers if you’re self-employed.

 The second habit is to track your spending so you can see how much of your personal resources you are dedicating to items that might be classified as discretionary.  When you look at the summary of your discretionary spending you can judge that against your financial goals and see if that spending is helping you get any closer to financial freedom.

 The third habit is to look at your past decisions that haven’t helped you achieve getting closer to financial independence and decide to change.  Habit change takes a significant amount of time.  Some say 21 days, but I observe it takes maybe a year or more to change a financial habit, see results, and continue to achieve progress towards financial goal(s).

 The fourth and last habit, is celebrating steps being made to achieve financial goals. It doesn’t have to be a party or flag waving celebration, it may be just letting your friends, family or an accountability person, know that you have moved ahead.  That satisfaction and reinforcement go a long way to maintaining a positive habit designed to achieve financial independence.

 So, yes it’s nice that the Dow Industrial Index has hit 20,000.  Now look at your life and see what benchmark you have achieved and how you get to the next level.  That’s the best habit.

Jim Ludwick
jim@adviceonly.net

Jim Ludwick is the founder of MainStreet Financial Planning. His varied education and life experiences have enabled him to apply his knowledge and experience into useful solutions for personal financial problems. His writing and broadcasting activities allow him to help many more than just individual clients. He loves a microphone.

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