There is something far worse than losing your money and that is losing your perspective. Money is a wonderful means to an end; it should never be the end itself. This is a fact that we all seem to understand, and yet it seems that from time to time many of us lose our perspective and start to look at the money itself as the goal.

Money can provide much in the way of security, comfort, and enjoyment. It can be a source of great joy. But money, in and of itself, brings no happiness, no peace and no fulfillment. Those can occasionally come through what we do with it, not from it. The past (several) months have brought few profits for long-term investors. It has been a period of rising interest rates and falling bond prices. Economic uncertainty has kept the stock market from moving. Losses have been the rule rather than the exception. These events have caused some to panic.

There are those who are suddenly tempted to try another investment philosophy, just because of some short-term setbacks. A few are even acting as if these events threaten their very existence. They need to lighten up a bit. What we are talking about is, after all, only money. It isn't as if someone is slowly draining the life from you.

Before you do something stupid, take a deep breath and ask yourself what you have lost. The answer is a few bucks. By using the strategies you hear about on my show, are you going to lose it all? It's not likely. And even in the worst of imaginable economic scenarios, would losing every cent you have cause you to keel over and die?

You will win some and you will lose some. If you enjoy the winning, learn to accept the losing. Those who are unable to remain patient through bad times aren't likely to ever experience the good.

I wrote those words in September of 1994. Funny how much that market sounds like the one we are in today. Except for a few "special" situations, most stocks are down or flat. Bond prices have been plummeting, in the face of potentially rising interest rates. Many "investors" are starting to look elsewhere for a strategy to ensure continuing high returns, or at least some degree of safety (many want both). Before you can invest you must have a realistic perspective.

Don McDonald
The Don McDonald Show & Newsletter
Making Money Make Sense

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