What We Want, What We Get

So the Fed decided to cut rates this week - the first time in a decade. The stock market momentarily freaked out Wednesday afternoon, changed course dramatically upward Thursday morning, and then trailed off again Thursday afternoon. 

It brought to mind the timeless truth of life - figuring out Things We Can Control, Things That Actually Matter, and focusing on the overlap of those items.

The Fed's policy is out of our control. 
The market's returns are out of our control.

What is in our control?

Choosing where to place our focus, energy, and attention.
Prioritizing things that are most important.
Focusing on long-term returns.
Constructing beautifully diversified portfolios.
Calculating how much risk we're comfortable taking.
Deciding how much we save and invest. 
Stipulating much we spend.

And it reminds me of this fantastic tweet -
What we want:

What we get:
1+2+4-3-2+0+5 = 7

We WANT the market total returns, and we want them slowly, gradually, without the down days. What we GET is anything but that. The returns are out of our control - but how we prepare and respond are indeed well within our control.
Additional Resources

1. Morningstar - Should You Bother Investing Abroad? (article/video)
A good reminder that even though the US had led all markets for total returns recently, there's still a compelling case for both diversification and growth to allocate some of our investments overseas. One stat that caught my eye was that of the companies in the S&P500, 62% of their revenue was generated stateside (or 38% non-US). Compared to international stocks, who only generate 15% from the US, and 85% from non-US.

2. Fident - First Fident Friday Follow-up (video)
My inaugural video on these weekly letters was crashed by my youngest son refusing to take a nap, and Mommy was out and about with the other kiddos. I rolled with it, and shared some thoughts from Fident Friday reader BK regarding my letter on Debt. Give it a watch, and let me know your thoughts. (It's an unlisted Youtube video, which means you can't search for it - you'll need to use the direct link above. Also - I'll tidy up my desk space and close a closet door for future videos!) 

3. CalibratingCapital - Living in Today: A Case Study (article)
Earlier this week I took a tri-generational boating/camping trip with two of my boys along with my Pops. And so as a follow up to my post last week, I shared some thoughts on this, kind of as a case study of living in Today. It wasn't done as a boasting, but to actually share a real story with one specific way I failed and one specific way I realized it was necessary.
I want to ask a question. A question I'm borrowing from a mentor.

What are you up to? What are you working up?

Are there things currently acting as stumbling blocks that might fit the paradigm above, that fall outside of Things That Matter and Things You Can Control? Is there something impeding the What We Want vs What We Get? Let me know - I love your thoughts and your stories, and would love to share them in a Fident Friday Follow-up sometime (anonymized, and with your permission). 

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