Shepherd Wealth & Retirement - April 2018


We tend to picture energetic dogs and cats thriving in young families with children, but animals are often happy to live with older, less active adults. These kinds of homes are especially suited to older animals that might otherwise have to spend their last days in the pound. Depending on your schedule and mobility, you might not want to adopt a large dog. But small lap dogs, cuddly cats, and even birds can make a great addition to your home. As long as you do not suffer from allergies, having a pet can be great for your health. The American Heart Association says pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers found evidence to support this claim when they discovered that registered dog owners in Sweden had lower rates of cardiovascular disease and a lower risk of death than individuals without dogs. Physical fitness is far from the only benefit of pet ownership. The love and companionship our animal friends offer can alleviate depression or loneliness. Linda Anderson, founder of the Angel Animals Network in Minneapolis, says, “Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pet's companionship, even when there were some downsides to owning an active pet." Caring for a pet takes work, but for many people, the benefits greatly outweigh the challenges. An energetic dog encourages you to leave the house and go for walks, a talkative parrot makes time spent alone less lonely, and a soft cat curled up on your lap helps alleviate a stressful day. If you can’t have a pet in your home due to lease restrictions or mobility challenges, you don’t have to miss out on the benefits of being around animals. Consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. You can help care for cats, dogs, and other animals while they wait for their own forever home. There are thousands of pets in shelters across the country waiting for someone to care for them. If there’s room in your retirement plan, why not invite one into your home? You might discover both you and your new friend have something to gain.

Everyone loves it when a slugger steps up to the plate and smashes one out of the park. The crowd roars as the player rounds the bases, fist pumping in the air. The stock market is the same way. Investors love to be tantalized by the fast-rising stock in hopes of reaping big rewards. But getting dazzled by the home runs in the market may be costing you big money. There's a big difference between a home run in stocks and a home run in baseball. In baseball, the run stays on the board and can never be taken away. In stocks, that home run can turn into an “out” in a matter of minutes. Cryptocurrencies are a great example. Bitcoin dazzled everyone with an astronomical rise late last year. Entire investment portfolios changed overnight to try to capitalize on this stock market slugger in December. By February of this year, the value had plummeted by 75 percent. In baseball, it’s common to overlook the player who plays good defense. These guys aren’t stars, but they are crucial to every baseball team’s success. They come in every day, work hard, and are consistent performers. Managing your portfolio is like managing your baseball team. It’s important to have “players” that can protect your runs by not losing what you gained. A baseball team can hit a ton of home runs but consistently lose games and seasons. Believe it or not, out of the top ten teams in home runs last season, only three of them made the postseason. Stocks are the same way. You can have a portfolio of home run hitters that put up some solid numbers for a brief time, but when those stocks slump, it’s your “team” that takes the hit. Offense and defense over the long haul are as crucial to developing a well-performing portfolio as they are for a baseball team. Contact us today at 520-325-1600 and let us show you how we can build you a portfolio that does both.


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