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There’s a lot to worry about right now out there in the financial world. The European debt problems, the volatility in the stock market and the gridlock in Washington are probably at the top of many worry lists. You can lose a lot of sleep worrying about matters like these, but it won’t do you much good because you can’t really change any of them. Instead, you should worry about the things that you can control.
For example, you can make sure that your portfolio is well diversified and that you have the right balance between asset classes. You can evaluate your insurance coverage to make sure that it covers your current needs. You can review your estate plan to make sure it is up-to-date and takes advantages of the current wrinkles in the tax code.
At a more granular level, you can re-examine the holdings in your portfolio. Are there any holdings whose risk level has increased due to recent events--for example, European banks or insurance companies? Are there any stocks that you’ve thought about buying in the past that have been beaten down to attractive levels? For example, see the articles about the Dividend Aristocrats and Post-Bankruptcy Stocks in the September 2011 issue of the newsletter.
Not only will you lose less sleep if you don’t worry about the things you can’t change. You’ll probably feel much better if you take some active steps to improve your financial health.