In Lukas Graham fashion, "Once I was seven years old," it was October 1987, I remember my dad coming home from a long day at the office. The stock market was down 20% in one day, and he was spent. He had spent most of the day talking to clients who had been putting their hard-earned savings into their investment accounts, wipe out years of gains in ONE DAY.
Once I was 21 years old, I was a Sophomore at Creighton, and my tuition payment was due in a few months, and the stock market closed for four days after the September 11th attacks.
Once I was 28 years old, newly married, and just bought a new house and that little housing crash was happening.
Now, I am 40 years old, "still learning about life" and looking back at all of those times in the past, I would tell my younger self to not worry about it and it will get better, and I imagine my 50-year-old self would be telling me the same thing right now, but it sure is hard to listen.
So what should you do now? It is a question we have been asked many times over the past week, and here is our best attempt to help you.
I'm 10. What should I do?
Be helpful around the house; it is a stressful time for your parents having to juggle work and your education.
If you have any extra Birthday, Christmas, or Work money around, talk to your parents about starting your college account and start saving.
Find a stock investment of a company you like and consider investing.
Enjoy time with your family.
I'm 20. What should I do?
Invest in yourself and your network. Figure out what is going to make you unique in the workforce and learn something new. Research people in the career you want and reach out to them to see what advice they might have for someone in your shoes right now.
Write and communicate. We see college grads in Financial Planning who have a Financial Planning blog with dedicated followers.
I'm 30. What should I do?
Realize how lucky you have been. Since you have started working, the stock market has been great. These types of markets happen, and its a chance to refresh. Consider using this as a time to up your contributions. Oh, and if you have kids, starting an education account.
I'm 40. What should I do?
Spend time with your kids, you will blink, and they will go away to college. Use this time to get to know them. An investment of time in them now will be well worth it when they are 30, both financially and personally.
I'm 50. What should I do?
Vow to never let this stress happen to you again as you get closer to retirement. You have time to recover, but over the next five years, make a plan for retirement, so these types of things won't cause so much undue stress. Mentor someone younger than you at work. Figure out who might be the one to take over your job when you are ready to call it quits. Its easier to walk away if you know someone will take over when you do.
I'm 60. What should I do?
Understand your cash flow. If you are already retired or going to be soon, make sure you understand your monthly spending and where income will be produced. If they don't match, lets figure out something. Oh, and if you have kids and grand-kids, send them $20 and tell them to get some ice cream when this is all over. Just ask for a picture of them enjoying it.
I'm 70. What should I do?
Even if the Recovery act doesn't require you to take out your Required Minimum Distribution, consider it and do something fun for yourself. Spend some time thinking about what you want to do when you grow up.
I'm 80. What should I do?
You have earned the right to tell others what to do. Feel free to do so. We would love to hear what advice you might have so drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any other suggestions or advice, please feel free to leave them for us. We are always trying to learn and share with clients ten years younger than you.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk and the potential to lose principal. This is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions.