Broker Check

From Headline to Headache: How Instant Access May Slow your Goals

| January 04, 2022

I’ve never spent much time reading the classic superhero comic books, but I can still picture some of the panels they may contain. There’s a distressed character, eyes bursting with panic, mouth agape as a speech bubble proclaims, “HELP!” And then there’s the menacing villain, rubbing hands together and cackling maniacally, only to receive a swift punch from the hero overlaid by a spiky “WHAM!” or “POW!” With so many captivating graphics and exclamatory phrases, it can be hard to look away from all of that action!

Odds are you don’t take a comic book with you everywhere you go, but you may still be carrying around the speech bubbles. Throughout your day, your phone may buzz with news notifications of “OH NO!” or “PANIC!” And just like in the comic books, those attention-grabbers are designed to stir up your emotions and keep you from looking away.

With all this clamor and urgency, it can be easy for news outlets with national audiences to feel somehow authoritative over individual, personalized investment decisions. The daily barrage of news notifications and market updates and what’s happening “NOW!” can make it feel so urgent simply to do something. Before you know it, you feel like the panicked character mentioned above, uncertain of the right move to make.

But do action-packed headlines require a (re)action-packed investment strategy?

Rephrasing the question may help to clarify the answer: do short-term perspectives lead to wise long-term decisions? Probably not. If your investment goals and objectives are long-term, sometimes deciding not to act is the best action to take. Furthermore, having a trusted advisor on your team can help discern when action actually is necessary and when changes are wise for your specific situation.

So, those headlines can become headaches pretty fast. But if you’re able to resist the temptation to be swept up in the immediate, you may find instead that those news notifications clamoring desperately for your attention are actually pretty comic.