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Closing Out 2008 with a Challenge and Books

A 2009 Challenge:

2008 is coming to a close and this is the time of the year where we start planning those Resolutions on how we are going to make 2009 better than 2008.  Below I have provided a few thoughts and links:

If you are Unhappy… Make a Change
If you are not happy with where you are financially right now I challenge you to make 2009 the year you make a change. Success is easier than you think… You just have to believe and figure out where your passion is.  Maybe 2009 is the year to start a business, or for you to go back to school. It is very fulfilling and can be financially rewarding to make a big change and have success that leads you to a better life.

If Debt is your Demon consider Checking out Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.

If you are new to Personal Finance consider reading David Chilton’s Wealthy Barber.
This book is a must read for anyone just beginning their journey into Financial Independence.  The book does not read like a text book.  It is very entertaining and highly motivating.

Curious to see how the wealthy think? Consider reading The Millionaire Next Door.

Wealth is a side effect of finding a career that works with your personal passion and what makes you happy.

Understanding the Limitations of Human Behavior:

Listen to the show today and I share how the desire to time the market can be a dangerous game.

I also need to let you know the facts behind human behavior and your investment returns. There is a great resource that provides an analytical way to review the way many of us act in good and bad times. That resource is DALBAR and their Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (click to check out the site yourself)

Scary Stats and Figures:

Annual Return From 1987-2007 (20 Years):
Inflation = 3.04%
Bond Investor Return = 1.55%
Equity Investor Return = 4.48%

Long-Term Gov’t Bd Index = 7.56%
S&P 500 Return = 11.81%

Average Retention Over 20 Years:
Equity 3.1 Years
Fixed Income 3.2 Years
Asset Allocation Funds 4.2 years

One of the first things that I let people know about investing is that anyone can make money when the market is up. There have been enough studies that support this by using Darts and Monkeys, but your real test as an investor comes when the market is down. I know that most of my listeners are overachievers that own or run successful companies, but even smart individuals can make bad decisions when fear overcomes them. Use this data to keep your thoughts rational if the market continues to be choppy.

Thoughts on the Big 3 Auto Makers
I close out the show and the year with a few thoughts on the situation that the Big 3 Auto Makers are in.  I even have some information provided by a few of my listeners that live in Michigan.

Thank you for listening in 2008 and I look forward to a very productive 2009!

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