Financial Lessons From 9/11

This month, as we remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks of five years ago, many people are reflecting on how life has changed since then and considering some of the lessons learned. While financial lessons are far from the most important takeaways, _Smart Money_ magazine recently summarized a few such lessons. First, don’t wait for a tragedy to make sure your financial house is in order. The article noted that life insurance sales spiked right after the attack, but then quickly tapered off as complacency once again settled in, leaving many families underinsured. Second, don’t let your emotions guide your investments. In the two weeks following the attacks, investors pulled some $30 billion out of the stock market and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 14 percent. Within 40 trading days, however, the market was back to pre-attack levels.
h3(matt). Matt’s View
p(matt). Perhaps one of the most important financial lessons we can all take from the tragedy of 9/11 is to make sure we’re using our money to support what matters to us most of all. Some people profiled in the _Smart Money_ piece took an early retirement after the attacks to spend more time with family. Others went ahead and started that business they planned to start someday, one day. Perhaps one financial planner said it best when she summarized the feelings of several of her clients: “They stopped worrying about how to get the best return on their investments, but rather, how to get the best returns on their lives.”

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