It never feels great to see the stock market drop, especially by a lot, and then watch as your portfolio’s value falls with it. Fear, frustration, anger, anxiety, helplessness – each is a totally understandable and even appropriate response. But all circumstances, no matter what part of life they touch, come with context. And nothing about the context surrounding current market events happens to change what you can and cannot control. At an elemental level, for instance, we have no say in when the market inevitably will fall, and when the market inevitably will rise. Bear cycles will come, and bear cycles will go. That’s precisely why your long-term plan – the one tailored to your situation and created around your values – anticipates and prepares for such unavoidable occurrences. Even those as severe as the – in some respects – unprecedented events we’re living through now. And that’s why you so often hear from us to stay the course, because doing so gives you the best odds of realizing the benefits your plan is constructed to deliver. (more…)