T’was the Night Before Christmas (2011 Version)

Twas the night before Christmas, a time full of cheer

As I started to reflect, on the events of past year

It has been a bumpy ride, in the markets and news

Bombarded with opinions, dependent on the channel you choose

The year began with a bang, stocks continued their rise

Then an earthquake hit Japan, enormous in size

Financial concerns, started to take hold

The stock market slowed, exuberance in gold

Then suddenly we received news, we had been longing to hear

Bin Ladin had been found, he’s no longer to fear

Concerns still remained, both at home and overseas

Government debt was growing, their solutions not bringing much ease

Unemployment remained high, US debt was downgraded

The summer swoon hit markets hard, investors became jaded

However not is all bad, if we take a closer look

Corporate profits are strong, lots of cash on their books

The Oracle of Omaha, sensed “blood in the streets”

He’s is buying up stocks, their prices a treat

Labeled the worlds’ greatest investor, his strategy not fleetly

“Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy”

But as an average Joe, what can I do?

My resources are more limited, by comparison few

Perhaps if I step back for a moment, and take a closer look

I will discover some strategies I can apply to my book

The first step is most crucial, but not as easy as it seems

A key to financial success, is living within your means

The next part also important, achieving my goals I can

It all begins with having, a written financial plan

With a written plan in place, I have documented my goals

In addition it has shown me where I need to fill in some holes

Proper risk management and insurance are important to address

Protecting against the unknown, another key to success

Next is my money, and how to invest

Do I time the markets, buying troughs, selling crests

Studies have shown this strategy is almost impossible to do

I would need to know when to get out, and when to re-invest too

Instead I should develop a long-term disciplined approach

Not always easy to do, my financial planner, my coach

Together we use index funds, their expenses are low

I seek market returns, give them time they will grow

Controlling my emotions, another part of the game

Avoiding the big mistake and quick reactions the same

Opportunistic rebalancing, volatility is my friend

Staying broadly diversified, not jumping on trends

With these strategies in place, I’m positioned to win

A well thought out plan, for myself and my kin

For what’s most important, is not money or wealth

But rather what it can achieve, and family, friends and good health

Just one more thought, as I complete my Holiday rhyme

Do something to help others, share prayers, money or time

Santa’s on his way, so I turn off the light

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Reach out today. This could be the start of a great relationship.

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