Tuesday, September 29, 2009
7 Essential Rules to Financial Security
By: Eric Gursky
Old thinking: If you can stomach the ups and downs that come with risk, you'll be rewarded.
New rule: Risk isn't about your stomach. It's about making or missing an important goal.
You know you have to consider risk. But what is risk? Many of us have learned to think of risk as synonymous with volatility. For years, what came down reliably bounced back even higher. You could easily conclude that risk tolerance was just a matter of taste. As long as you had the fortitude to see the occasional loss on your 401(k) statement and not panic, you would capture superior returns over time.
As you now know, the "over time" part of that last sentence is the real risk of relying too heavily on stocks. The longest period of negative returns for U.S. equities is 16 years, according to data collected by Wharton economist Jeremy Siegel. And we're at over a decade as of late February.
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