Created with sketchtool. Created with sketchtool.
Sign Up for Free Weekly Newsletter

    Focus On Investment Factors You Can Control By Kathleen Rehl

    By Kathleen M. Rehl, Ph.D., CFP®, CeFT® Emeritus


    The daily news is filled with stories about people suffering personal economic discomfort. Exploding inflation, increasing interest rates, over-the-top gas prices, wages not keeping pace with expensive grocery bills and home rental costs, fear of recession, lingering pandemic problems, exploding value of real estate, Ukrainian war, and other distressing events have put stocks in a nosedive.


    What to do? Avoid focusing on what you can’t control. Rather, concentrate on what you can manage.


    Your investment performance depends on several main factors:


    • How much you spend
    • How much you save
    • Length of time you’re invested
    • Investing in a variety of diverse types of investments
    • Tax-reduction strategies
    • Making informed decisions after a major life transition such as the death of a spouse or partner
    • Market returns 

    You can manage the first six variables, but number 7 is impossible for you to control. Of course, you need to pay attention to the market, but there are more pressing things to dwell on during these challenging times—like the positive aspects of your life.


    It’s the old saying about your glass being half full or half empty. By concentrating on your values and what matters most, you emphasize a glass half full. The joy in your life is where you want to devote most of your energies. Pay attention to what you truly can manage and turn away from what you have no power to control.


    Note: This article is a refreshed version of a segment first published in Rehl’s book.


    Kathleen M. Rehl, Ph.D., CFP®, CeFT® Emeritus wrote the award-winning book, Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows. She owned Rehl Financial Advisors for 18 years before retiring to a six-year encore career empowering widows. Now happily “reFired” at age 75, Rehl writes legacy prose, poetry, and letters, plus is an ambassador for several nonprofits. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger’s, CNBC, USA Today, and many other publications. Her website is