Lighting a Candle is a universal action with varied messages.
I want to take a moment to remember, look forward, and think of the discouraged.
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Have you ever been to a candle-lit vigil? Perhaps a candle-lit service at a church for Christmas? Have you perhaps lit a candle for a loved one while they’re away, or even left a proverbial “candle in the window” for someone?
Lighting a candle is a largely universal expression. People all around the world and from various walks of life have interacted with the concept of lighting a candle. We light them for birthdays, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, vigils, and more. A lit candle invokes strong feelings from joyful frivolity to the spiritual to the poignant.
We light them to shine a light on our memories, to illuminate our hopes and dreams for the future, and to give direction and hope to those we want to see again. A lit candle reflects our desires and losses, our hopes and struggles. This Christmas Eve, many will light a candle to remember those who passed this year and were unable to join in on their family’s traditions. Some will light a candle at the closing of the year to illuminate their hopes for the next.
Today the market is closed, and we have time to enjoy ourselves with our family and friends. I want to light some virtual candles here with you. Remembering This Past Year – The 1st Candle Lit
2021 has been a crazy year. The markets are up a lot with Growth investing and Value investing in a neck and neck competition: Both are up this year, with Value leading the way in the first half and Growth rallying into year-end. Many Value names got ahead of themselves and have seen stronger tax-loss selling than many Growth investments.
We have been laser-focused on finding excellent income investments throughout 2021, and looking at some of our favorites this year, you can see we’re happily collecting dividends with some great capital gains on top: Strong dividend payers like Iron Mountain ( IRM ), Eagle Point Credit ( ECC ), and Saratoga Investment Corp ( SAR ) have allowed High Dividend Opportunities members to stay ahead of the market and outearn it. They yield 4.8%, 10.3%, and 7.3% respectively.
The year hasn’t been all ups without any downs, the market is far from a calm flat lake, but is a constantly shifting and wavy ocean. It is important in my book to look back over the past year and evaluate how you have done. You have winners and losers – we all do.
How have you done at working towards reaching your retirement goals? For income investors, this means considering your year-over-year income changes. Are you closer to your income goal, or are you falling behind the pace you planned?
Did you get caught up in the noise and distractions of life or investing? Maybe made choices that don’t align with your goals? Let this time of reminiscing be a time you refocus your efforts as we look toward a new year. If you achieved your goals, take a moment to give yourself praise and be happy with your hard work. Success financially is something one rarely stumbles into but is something that requires hard and diligent work.
Be proud of your successes and learn from your shortcomings. Take A Moment To Dream And Hope – The 2nd Candle Lit
We lit a candle in observation of the past. Now it’s time to light a second candle. This one is to shine light upon and illuminate our hopes and dreams.
What is it in 2022 that you want to achieve? Take a moment to think about it. Set some goals for your next year of life. These would be less practical goals and more hopeful ones. Dream big.
I like to take this time to help paint a picture of what I hope to do in my retirement. What is it that you hope to do? Travel? Spend more time with loved ones? Learn a new hobby? Meet new people to befriend?A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed those who take a picture of their meals are more likely to enjoy it – crazy right? It builds hope and anticipation for the […]