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Happy Friday! It's Casey from Howard Bailey Financial! Each week, I'll send you my commentary on four financial-related resources that I think will be beneficial for you — plus a preview of my latest podcast episode.

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Will the Optimists Triumph Yet Again?
Of Dollars and Data Watching or reading any news outlets at the moment might leave you feeling discouraged. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, rising prices and market volatility all create the perfect recipe for pessimism, and what might seem more difficult to grasp is the fact that no one knows exactly what will come next.

Monitoring market moves: If the negativity has you feeling down, take a moment and read this article. There’s something to be said about a “glass half-full” mentality, and despite what is currently unknown, we still might be able to foresee a relative direction of where we're going, via the market. This doesn’t mean reading every expert’s prediction, but instead truly observing how the market reacts to unfolding events.

Author Barton Biggs is featured here based on research conducted in his book, Wealth, War and Wisdom. In it, Biggs focuses on how worldwide equity markets reacted to and anticipated World War II, and more specifically, how the UK’s stock market was able to make a comeback despite the bombing London experienced in May 1941. Then again, in March 2020 the market dipped, only to surge upward as COVID cases increased and fears of uncertainty spread amongst the masses.

Combat pessimism with positivity: We know the market is capable of rallying (take a look at what happened this past February 25), and over the long-run, optimists have always won historically. The bottom line is the market seems to be looking forward, and it’s becoming more efficiently optimistic in these modern times. 
New on the Podcast

Upon looking at news headlines, it might not feel like optimists are leading in today's world; however, the stock market may see some positivity on the horizon. In today's episode, we're discussing a theory in which Wall Street is a forward looking indicator of what's to come.
Rising Interest Rates and Your Investment Plan
The Street In an effort to help combat surging inflation, you more than likely have heard the Fed’s plan to begin increasing interest rates. Many have differing views on how this will affect the current economic climate as well as market and bond returns, but it doesn’t necessarily signal bad news.

A brief background: Simply put, interest rates are essentially market prices. As this article states, they “measure the cost of capital” and “the market rate that a borrower pays to borrow money”. That being said, it’s important to note that raising interest rates does not warrant slow economic growth or poor returns, and because interest rates are swayed by many varying factors, a period in which they are hiked can in some cases be positive.

The reality: Throughout times of economic expansion, a rise for capital demand can also cause interest rates to rise, and as a result, increased expected profits from that demand can make investments more profitable. While the market does not have a direct correlation to these increases, different bonds can be affected based on changes in demand and supply.

What now? Raising interest rates in today’s environment creates such immediate response because of everything the economy has already experienced thus far: pandemic-induced disruption, large government spending and an increase in money supply. It is now the Fed’s challenge to combat inflation and signal interest rates to increase in a consistent manner with economic recovery.

My two cents: You should understand how economic factors could impact your portfolio prior to making any snap judgments based on fear-based headlines. Always have a plan that considers the best and prepares for the worst.
Is your retirement plan protected from the unexpected? Gain the financial confidence you deserve. Schedule a complimentary financial review with our team today!
The 1 Question You Should Always Ask Yourself Before Making Any Personal Finance Decisions
Inc. The budget-minimizing tools and retirement calculators you have at your fingertips in this day and age are plentiful, but in the end, they are simply just tools.

Zoom in: To truly elevate your financial wellbeing or reach a personal level of success you’re in search of, finance guru Ramit Sethi advises becoming clear on your vision. More specifically, you need to ask yourself: What does the “rich” life look like to me? For many, the answer to that question might include becoming debt-free or reaching a certain income level; however, these goals are so general that they are void of real meaning.

Define your dreams: Instead, Sethi suggests setting “richly imagined financial goals” for yourself that are more motivating. Ask yourself questions such as, what does a perfect month look like for me? Or, what about a perfect week? Then, prepare answers to these questions that are detailed, because as Sethi states, “A rich life is lived in the details,” and the more specific you are, the more inspired you will be to reach your goals (both big and small).

Know your North star: If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you ever expect to get there? You need to paint a vivid vision of your future in order to create the drive today, and map out a strategy to most efficiently get there.
Bonus Reading
Ready to seriously start thinking about retirement? My best-selling book, Job Optional*, is a good jump-off point — it will teach you how to secure your financial future so you can focus on what matters most to you now.
Can Anyone Be a Successful Investor?
Forbes When it comes to long-term investing, my good friend and author of this article, Joel Johnson, says it best: “… Slow and steady will win the race.”

Taking the gamble: In today’s world, an astounding number of things can be accomplished at the click of a button, and that includes investing. Online platforms make it easier than ever to stock trade or peruse and purchase the latest cryptocurrency; however, despite what might feel as an exciting win doesn’t always lend well when our emotions come into play.

Patience pays off: Impulse optimism or FOMO (fear of missing out) can cause stock speculators to make poor investment choices based on short-term profits. On the other hand, professionals who specialize in long-term investing utilize a methodical, researched approach that supports an overarching financial goal.

Big risk, big reward? You will rarely meet anyone who genuinely became rich by picking the right stocks or taking big risks. On the other hand, you will meet plenty others who leaned into the saying, “It’s not what you make, but what you keep.” This is not to say you can’t take a gamble from time to time, but it should not be your core strategy for wealth accumulation.
We can audit your current retirement strategy against top financial pitfalls. Schedule a complimentary financial review with our team today!
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Advisory services may be offered through Howard Bailey Securities, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.*Reached #5 on the Wall Street Journal eBook Bestseller List on 8/9/19. *Reached #1 on the Amazon Retirement Planning Bestseller List on 7/2/19. ©2021 HOWARD BAILEY FINANCIAL, INC.