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Market Fluctuations: What You Need To Know

No matter how much we plan and save, we still cannot control one major element of our finances: the overall state of the financial market. Because the many moving parts of the global economy can cause currency values to shift and interest rates to fluctuate, it may seem nearly impossible to make financial decisions with any confidence. Thankfully, you can better deal with market changes if you understand these three things:

  • Global Events Are Out Of Your Control: Even if we believe we have near-perfect financial habits, we still unfortunately have no influence over the value of foreign currency, the supply and demand of a commodity, or whether or not a natural disaster or war hits a nation’s economy. Events like these are completely out of our hands. At the same time, they influence the value and stability of our money.
  • Interest Rates Will Fluctuate: Depending on the health and behaviors of businesses, borrowers, and investors, the market may change in a way that favors our finances, or in a way that slows our progress down. For example, the status of the financial market can determine how high or low the interest rates on money borrowed will be.
  • Focus On What We Can Control: While we cannot control every ebb on the financial ocean, we can enable ourselves to ride the waves and stay afloat. Focus on the elements of your finances you do control. Remember, you have the final say on if and how you spend your funds. While you may want to work toward major investments like home ownership, it is wise to focus on saving to protect yourself in the present as well. In other words, keep an emergency fund. Every dollar you save along the way spells security and protection in uncertain times. In addition, we have control over our earning power! If you still feel like you are being pushed around by broader forces, consider building a stronger foundation by taking on a second career and increasing your income.

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