Invest Like a Stoic

Socrates spent decades as a teacher – or, as he liked to describe himself, a "midwife to the soul."

But then, an Athenian jury sentenced him to death for his ideas. When his friends and followers in attendance began weeping, Socrates spoke...

What is this strange outcry?... I have been told that a man should die in peace. Be    quiet, then, and have patience.

Partly inspired by the story of Socrates' death, Zeno of Citium created the philosophy of Stoicism as a way of life. Its core principle: To find happiness, you must accept the present moment and the uncontrollable forces of nature... focus your efforts on things you can control... and not be consumed by desires.

In other words, you can't get through life without accepting the things you can't change during hard times.

Today, you need to be a "Market Stoic."

Plenty of experts are practically shouting the worst is on its way... whether it's a collapse in housing, a bear market in stocks, or a potentially damaging government shutdown.

Whatever happens, my suggestion is to sit back and take it... with calmness.

That's not to say we do nothing. Like the Stoics, we're going to focus on the things we can change.

Follow a thoughtful asset-allocation plan... set reasonable goals... and focus your investing on quality businesses that compound capital over time. Don't bury your head in the sand when you think things are going south.

Next Tuesday, my colleague Greg Diamond is hosting a market briefing where he's sharing details of a huge event that could happen in the markets on February 14, 2024.

According to Greg, "This will be unlike any other financial prediction you've seen of late. And if you know what to do, it'll be a remarkable chance to book serious gains, if you're positioned correctly."

Click here to make sure you don't miss it.

Now, let's dig into some questions... As always, keep sending your comments, questions, and topic suggestions to [email protected]. My team and I really do read every e-mail.

Q: Hi Doc, it's my first open enrollment. I'm not sure where to start. Any help you can offer would be appreciated. – T.T.

A: This year, Medicare's annual open-enrollment period runs through December 15 for folks who need coverage to start January 1.

Medicare enrollment is something most folks in the U.S. face around the age of 65. And it's one of the most confusing financial decisions older Americans have to make.

Qualifying folks can choose among four different types of Medicare plans. (Read more about each one here.)

You can select as many of the plans as you'd like. (But remember... there is a copay for each.) Most folks opt to receive Parts A and B – either directly or via Part C – to cover their hospital and doctor visits. Some also add Part D to receive prescription-drug coverage, as well.

Many seniors also buy two other insurance products that are available during the open-enrollment period: Medicare Supplemental Insurance ("Medigap") sold by insurance companies and a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or "PDP." It's important to note that you can't opt into a Medigap plan if you already have Medicare. You can only do that at the time of initial enrollment.

You can read a guide to enrollment rules here. And you can check out your different Medicare options and find a plan that works for you here.

And once you've signed up for Medicare, you might find it's not meeting your needs. For example, you might start a new prescription that you didn't need before you were using Medicare. So now you realize you need a drug plan. This is good information to note for next year's open enrollment in case you'd like to change your coverage at that time.

For example, you can also change from Original Medicare to a private-insurance Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or vice versa. If you already have an Advantage plan, you can switch to another Advantage plan. You can also add Part D or opt into another prescription plan.

And you can read more from us about Medicare here.

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
November 10, 2023