Investing Information

Your Portfolio and "Old Ironsides"

The USS Constitution first ventured into the waters in 1798. From there she became an icon of durability and success.

In battle, the ship became known as "Old Ironsides" because the shots fired from enemy ships seemed to bounce off her hull. She may be best remembered for her service in the War of 1812.

Today, the loyal ship may be found resting quietly in the Boston Harbor. During the week of the Fourth of July, at the Boston Harborfest, "Old Ironsides" makes her annual voyage down the harbor. This is termed the "Turn-Around" cruise.

As investors, we can learn a lot from this old ship and its history.The first is longevity.

It is easy to be influenced by the short-term direction of the market. A long-term perspective, if warranted, is best observed. Of course if you have a short-term goal, aggressive investments such as individual stocks may not be the best alternative. However, if you have many years before retirement, you should ignore the short-term volatility. As with "Old Ironsides," she fought many a battle, but more than two hundred years later remains afloat and above water.

A second point to remember, just like the ship, your portfolio may require maintenance from time to time.

Positions may weaken and require your attention. Other positions may grow to a point where profit taking is in order. As with the strong currents of the seas, the market will take its direction and you must adapt to it.Finally, you should consider periodic reviews (i.e. monthly, quarterly, annually) vital to your portfolio. Even the USS Constitution has an annual appointment, with America, where she makes her "Turn-Around" trip. This allows her to weather evenly while at dock during the year and to keep her on active commission. Onlookers, meanwhile, have the opportunity to view all sides of the ship. You, too, should be familiar with all areas of your portfolio.

This Fourth of July, when you reflect upon our independence, remember to schedule a visit with your savings.

Wardlaw's belief is that familiar life elements best illustrate practical investment strategies; not typical investment jargon. With that philosophy, the author assists financial planners/advisors, brokerage firms, periodicals, and other investment information syndicates create informative and entertaining articles.

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