The markets are inherently volatile, but they have also been inherently profitable. Setting your expectations accurately can help you stay invested long enough to overlook disappointing results and experience the long-term growth you are seeking.
Using the analogy of a peach orchard farmer compared to a doomsday weather watcher, David Marotta reminds us in this 2004 article that “For the speculator, speed is everything. Not so, for the investor.”
This 2009 article reminds us, “When we are worried about our expenditures, we tend to look at the dollar amounts more than the frequency of our purchases.” However, to combat mindless spending, we should look to trim recurring expenses first.
When crafting your own buy list, this 2007 article reminds us that rather than just finding one index fund to fulfill your asset class, you should consider blending multiple sector level index funds to decrease volatility or increase return.
Rebalancing from stocks into bonds reduces your returns on average since bonds have a lower average return. But, as this 2015 article reminds us, there are decades of very choppy markets where even rebalancing an allocation of stocks and bonds can boost returns.