On Sept. 1, we observe Labor Day — a celebration of the American worker. Of course, you work hard at your own job, but, when you think of it, every worthwhile endeavor in life requires significant effort — and that’s certainly the case with investing. The harder you work at it, the more likely you are to make progress toward your goals.
So as you think about investing, consider the following areas in which you will need to apply yourself:
Just when you thought you could take a break from financial drama, following the resolution of the debt ceiling issue, here comes Act 2: the downgrade of the U.S. long-term credit rating. As a citizen, you may be feeling frustrated. And as an investor, you might be getting worried. But is this concern really justified? Certainly, it was news when Standard and Poors (S&P) lowered the U.S. long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+. This was, after all, the first time that the U.S. has lost its AAA status since its initial publication 70 years ago.
Unfortunately, for many people, Thanksgiving has been overshadowed by Black Friday. Or, even worse, in some cases Black Thursday, which is what many people have started calling Thanksgiving Day because so many stores across the country open their doors before our leftovers have even had a chance to get cold.
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2013 44.8 million consumers shopped on Thanksgiving Day, which was up 27 percent from 2013.
Guess what? 2012 is gone and we have a new year to fill a clean slate on which we can make a new record for ourselves. Hopefully, we have learned from our mistakes and at least will not repeat the old ones. Being human, we’ll probably make some new ones. As old as I am, you’d think I would have a better handle on this, but as I used to tell my piano pupils, imperfect practice does not produce beautiful music. My goal is to try to correct the old ones and even replace them with better ways of doing things.