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Bert worked for one of the large Detroit automobile companies for many years and had a retirement plan with some very expensive no-load investment options. Every Monday, Bert checked in with his office peers and then adjusted his employer’s retirement account, moving his investment allocations according to what the market did the week before and what his peers projected the market would do in the future.

For thirteen years, we taught investment classes for a college and various local community education programs. Many students were highly educated—successful business owners, mid- to high-level corporate managers, doctors, lawyers, MBAs, nurses, technicians, schoolteachers, retirees, and homemakers, all seeking to learn about the successful way to invest. Now we teach at conferences, workshops, churches, and businesses, and continue to enjoy the student interaction. 

I (Maria) am the type of person who feels secure when I’m in control and well informed. When working as a biomedical photographer, before I started a new career as a Wealth Coach with my mother, I’d read my employers’ 401(k) investment prospectuses, and then believed I could make an informed investment decision. I frequently logged into my 401(k) account to check my investments and then made changes to my allocations, because of their past returns. I never realized how much I was actually hurting my investments. My behavior caused these results: My 401(k) was poorly diversified; I created larger investment costs by trading frequently; I bought high and sold low; and I was ineffectively chasing returns. Without knowing better, I was killing my returns while trying to improve them. In reality, I was going backward and being my own worst enemy. Nobody else was doing this to me; I was doing it all to myself, creating more stress with my counterproductive behavior.   

Karl and Jenny retired and sold their home to move to a warmer climate. They were looking forward to full-time fishing, golfing, and gardening, as their new southern home was near a lake and on a golf course. 

Jake was a highly successful upper-level manager in the automotive business. He was the manager of a very large division and well-respected. His whole identity and self-worth were related to his position at work. Jake was a workaholic. He worked long hours and had no outside interests and took few vacations. He and his wife, Lynn, didn’t have children, so their whole focus was on work and themselves. They were estranged from their relatives, as they never had time for vacations nor did they take time to attend family reunions. 

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