This past month, Jonathan Clements of the Wall Street Journal wrote an interesting piece regarding financial independence. Many of the points he made in his article were quite similar to many of the sentiments I try to get across on the radio show. His premise was that financial independence and freedom are goals that everyone should strive for. However, more often than not these are goals that are not realized. We have compiled a Watchdog Top 20 List to aid you in determining if you have that independence and freedom.
1. Shopping is not your favorite pastime or hobby.
2. When the prices of equities drop, instead of getting worried you sense an opportunity.
3. When stock markets race through the roof, you get nervous.
4. You pay yourself every month, putting money away from every paycheck.
5. You have a strict exit strategy for every investment, whether it is stocks, bonds or real estate.
6. Your estate is in order, and you update with every life-changing event.
7. You have no problem selling losing investments.
8. You can detect conflicts of interest with brokerage firms and insurance companies.
9. You have greater wealth than your neighbors, and they don’t have any idea.
10. You never open up credit card bills with fear in your heart and mind.
11. You can afford to purchase a new car or boat, but you decide against it.
12. When brokers talk about how great they are at picking stocks, you are laughing on the inside.
13. You realize that bonds will not show doubles and triples in your portfolio and they might actually drag down the overall performance, but you own them anyway.
14. You laugh when your friends talk about some hot new hedge fund they bought.
15. The goals for your family do not hinge upon your portfolio posting double-digit annual returns.
16. When you see someone buying lottery tickets it makes you nauseous.
17. You have the right amount of insurance and not a bit more.
18. You always try to max out your qualified plans.
19. You realize that business programming such as CNBC and FOX’s Bulls & Bears are nothing more than entertainment programming.
20. When people happen to ask you for investment advice, you bore them.