After a sharp decline Friday afternoon, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ suffered their worst weekly losses in over two years. For the week, the technology heavy NASDAQ was down 2.3%, the S&P was down 3.1%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.7%;this decline pushed the Dow into negative territory for the year. Over the past few weeks there has been a major spike in volatility due to concerns over slowing global growth, amidst other political concerns.

For many investors, all of these gyrations can give you a seasick feeling. The volatility may even go as far to cause concern for your overall retirement/financial picture. Chances are, you have enough experience in capital markets through your 401k, 403b, or your IRA to know that it isn't a straight line to the top. There will be ups and downs and it is important to wade through those cycles.

Some folks have found that the easiest way to alleviate the nauseous feeling that volatile markets can give you is by having a retirement plan. The S&P 500, Dow Jones, and the NASDAQ are all major indices, but you should ask yourself if they're the best indices to be measuring your retirement performance against. Unless you own all of the investments the indices do, they may not be. By attacking retirement with a plan, it allows you to create your own personal benchmark based off of your unique financial circumstances.

So, take the guessing game out of your retirement, alleviate that queasy feeling, get rid of the worrisome nights, and reach out to a financial professional to learn more about creating your own personal index.

Ethan Wade, Financial Advisor


(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).