Don’t Let Market Headlines Steal Your Joy This Holiday Season

Market Headlines

One of the worst times to worry about market headlines is during the holiday season.

Below are three ideas that can help you worry less and focus on what matters most during the holiday season.

1. Capture gratitude.

Science suggests that capturing gratitude regularly can help you worry less and lead to a happier and healthier life.

You can use a journal, Excel worksheet, or a note-taking application on your phone to capture gratitude in just a couple of minutes every day.

Is reflecting worth it? I started capturing gratitude as part of my daily routine two years ago. Since then, it feels like I’m at least 2% happier.

Investing a few minutes per day to capture gratitude seems like a small investment to get a little happier or healthier if it works for you.

If you would like to worry less or live a happier life, consider capturing gratitude as part of your daily routine.

Tips for capturing gratitude:

  • Find 5 minutes of distraction-free time in your day
  • Silence your cell phone
  • Write down something you are grateful and why you are feeling grateful
  • Put your “reflection time” on your calendar for the next 30-60 days

2. Put the Points into Perspective.

One reason market headlines can steal your attention or cause worry is because a 100, 200, or 500 point swing can sound like a massive event.

A recent headline, “The Dow Plummets 210 Points as Market Braces for Worst Earnings in Years”1, could have caused a lot of people unnecessary worry.

Let’s put a 210 point market drop into perspective.

I was born in July of 1980 when the Dow was around 2910.2 A 210 point swing back in July of 1980 would have been around a 7.2% market swing. Even a 7.2% drop in 1980 pales in comparison to the 22.6% decline the Dow experience on Black Monday (1987) or the 12.8% drop during the great depression (1929).3

At the time of this writing, a 210 point drop is slightly less than a .75% drop in the market.4 A recent Forbes article noted that the average daily drop for the Dow was .75%.5 If the headlines cared about the health of readers, an appropriate headline for a .75% drop might be, “The market drop today was slightly less than average.”

Tips to put points into perspective?

  • Set your expectations appropriately by stress testing your investment strategy for a major recession.
  • If you don’t have the tools to run a stress test, ask your advisor to run one for you, so you know what to expect.
  • Read the attached “Getting to the Point of a Point” article if you would like to learn more about point movements and how they can impact your portfolio.

3. Put down your cell phone and make more time for what matters most to you.

Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., suggests that our overexposure to technology has created a relatively new form of anxiety.6

While you can’t control the stock markets, you can choose to limit how much time you spend on your phone, which can reduce your exposure to market headlines that are trying to steal your attention.

Do you want to reduce your screen time and spend more time with the people that you love this holiday season?

Here are six strategies that could cut your screen time in half.

Speaking of time, it’s time to get the turkey in the brine mixture for Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Learn how we can help you get more out of your time and money by connecting with us on our website. Visit our blog for more content like this.

Nobody should feel held back from living their best life! If the ideas in this newsletter could help a family member, friend, or coworker get more out of their time or money, please consider sharing it with others.

Sources: 2