SOME YEARS AGO, I had a health scare—and it taught me an important lesson about my relationship with money. My primary care physician wanted me to see a hematologist. “Your white blood cells have been trending lower for the last five years,” he opined. “We need to find out what’s causing it.”
After a number of tests, the hematologist thought I might have a rare blood disease. He said the test results were inconclusive, but I fit the profile. He wanted to confirm his suspicions by performing a bone marrow biopsy. He went on to say that there was no cure for the disease, but there were drugs that could extend a patient’s life.
The doctor’s comments shook me to the core. Suddenly, I faced the possibility that my time on earth might run out far sooner than I expected. I started thinking about the things in my life that are important to me. How do I protect, experience and enjoy them? The following were the first things I did after leaving the doctor’s office that day:
Looking back, I realized the things that were most important in my life during this stressful time—besides my health—were my family, friends and life experiences. What I didn’t care about: buying a new car or how my investment portfolio was performing. Before the health scare, tracking the stock market and my investments were an everyday ritual. I now realized those shouldn’t be my life’s main focus.
Want to spend less time thinking about money? Here are nine investment pointers that may help you fret less about your portfolio—so you can focus on the more important things in life:
Dennis Friedman retired from Boeing Satellite Systems after a 30-year career in manufacturing. Born in Ohio, Dennis is a California transplant with a bachelor’s degree in history and an MBA. A self-described “humble investor,” he likes reading historical novels and about personal finance. His previous articles include Power of Two, California Dreamin’ and Wrong Approach. Follow Dennis on Twitter @DMFrie.
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