How are you feeling? Like the long, cold winter is over? Like summer is right around the corner? Like school is going to be out any day now?
What about your financial life? With 4 months of the year passed, do you feel like 2014 is coming to reflect your vision and values, or are you starting to feel like another year is slipping by with little to no progress on realizing your goals?
As far as the market goes, the year is off to a reasonably positive start. As shown in the chart above, the S&P 500 stock index is up about 1.8% so far this year, and the 10 year treasury interest rate has actually fallen (meaning bond prices have risen) -- this outcome may come as a surprise to many who believed rising rates were a foregone conclusion.
But these are just impersonal numbers -- your situation and feelings about your own financial well being are going to depend more heavily on issues particular to you: do you feel more comfortable, more secure, more prepared than you did in January, or in May of last year?
Too often in conversations around investment planning and money management, the focus falls squarely on performance and percentages, when really what most of us want to is to believe that we're going to "be ok".
It's a good question. But maybe some better questions are:
Happy May Day, everyone. Here's to a brilliant spring season.
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David R Wattenbarger, president of DRW Financial
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