The secret to staying cool in this market

Know what you can control

Louis Barajas - The coach
Louis Barajas, Wealth Planning Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

Obviously, it's okay to feel upset. If you're really interested in helping yourself, think about what is within your control - and what isn't.

You can control how much money you're spending. You can control whether you're becoming more valuable at work. You can't control your office being shut down. You can control whether you put a résumé together and start looking for a job.

You're saying, "I've lost $50,000. I've lost $100,000." You can't change the event. What you need to focus on is the outcome you want. I've gone through this with a lot of clients: "What was the money for?" I ask. "For my retirement," they say. "I just wanted to play golf a couple of times a week and travel once in a while."

And we've sat down and looked at their portfolios. A lot of times they're still on target for that retirement. Or maybe instead of playing golf three times a week, they're going to be able to play twice a week. The feeling of having lost control of outcomes is what creates panic and fear. Don't forget that you do have options.

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