All the pieces are in place...
Investors are scared. COVID-19's Omicron variant is all over the news. The world is waiting to see if Russia will invade Ukraine. The markets are swinging wildly.
But here's the thing...
Everything is fine.
It's nearly impossible to predict what markets will do in any given year. Any analyst who claims he can is lying to you or to himself.
But for 2022, I'm cautiously optimistic.
As I recently told Retirement Trader subscribers... I think the market will finish higher in 2022 – but there will be plenty of volatility along the way. And this week has been a good example of what we could continue to experience this year.
But that's just a guess. Right now, the data tell us the economy is in a good place. And a healthy economy should push markets higher.
As we've talked about before, if you had to choose one indicator to predict the direction of stock prices, you should focus on the behavior of consumers.
Consumer spending makes up around 70% of our economy. It determines the decisions of virtually every business. And it's the key driver in investment returns.
Right now, consumer spending is healthy. Wages have been increasing, and folks are going out into the world and spending. That's all good news for the stock market.
But these are the times when you need to properly manage your portfolio risk. Lots of us have seen our portfolios hit new highs over the last year. And if you don't want to give up those gains, there are steps you need to take today.
Last night, I sat down with my colleagues Dr. Steve Sjuggerud and Matt Weinschenk to discuss how to not only keep building your wealth this year, but also protect your money from uncertainty. We talked about inflation, the Melt Up, bitcoin, the likelihood of a market crash, and our favorite investments to make in 2022.
If you've got money in the markets or you're thinking about investing this year, you don't want to miss what we had to say.
Keep sending us your questions, comments, and suggestions. We read every e-mail… [email protected].
Q: Hoping Dr. Eifrig could talk about tinnitus, its causes, and hopefully cures. Thanks to all of Stansberry Research for the dedication and commitment. – M.W.
A: For readers who aren't familiar with the term, tinnitus is that ringing in your ears with no apparent external cause. Most of us have experienced ringing in our ears before, but some people have the ringing constantly. For some, it's so bad that it hinders sleep, concentration, and communication.
There are lots of causes behind the ringing... Hearing loss, certain medications – including antidepressants and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen) – or an injury to your head, neck, or ear can all lead to tinnitus. As many as 50 million Americans have likely experienced tinnitus.
But exposure to prolonged loud noise causes about 90% of tinnitus cases. And unfortunately, there's no definitive cure... Instead, you can reduce your risk of tinnitus by keeping the volume down in your headphones and wearing protective ear gear (like earplugs) when you're in a location with extremely loud noise (like concerts or car races).
Possible treatments depend on the underlying cause of your tinnitus. For example, if you have an infection (like a sinus infection) causing the tinnitus, clearing the infection will likely help.
There's also some evidence that taking a magnesium supplement may help people who already have moderate to severe tinnitus. One belief is that people with tinnitus don't have enough magnesium in their bodies. Nearly half of Americans don't get enough magnesium.
If you're worried about tinnitus, or already have it, you can try upping the magnesium in your diet instead of heading straight for a supplement. A healthy intake of magnesium is about 320 mg a day for women, while men need about 420 mg.
Three foods to help you increase your magnesium are nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. A handful of almonds has 76 mg of magnesium, a quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds has 190 mg, and a cup of spinach has 157 mg.
Tinnitus is a common concern we get from readers. So look for more on this topic in the future.
Q: How about eyeglasses like Readers.com that are supposed to block blue light. Are these glasses any good at protecting against blue light? – R.B.
A: Blue light is one of the biggest sleep disruptors. We're also learning more about the damage it causes to our eyes.
A couple of my colleagues have tested the sort of blue-light-filtering glasses you mentioned. One didn't find them useful, while another swears by their effectiveness.
There isn't great science to back up the usefulness of blue-light-filtering glasses. Two small studies show some evidence of a decreased impact on your sleep when you wear the glasses, but not enough to draw any real conclusions.
For now, I'm skeptical.
Instead, here are three easy ways to limit your exposure to blue light that I urge you to start today...
2. Do what I do and turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed. Keeping electronics off, or out of the bedroom entirely, will create a sanctuary for sleep. That includes your phone – don't check it during the night or use it while trying to fall asleep.
3. Make mealtimes screen free. We've noticed a growing number of folks eating out at restaurants while glued to their phones. Not only is it rude, but a recent study from the University of British Columbia showed that this behavior undermines our own happiness.
What We're Reading...
- Did you miss it? It's time to buy, not panic.
- Something different: Get ready for a tough tax season.
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
January 28, 2022