use your brainUnruly, uncertain, unsettled. Now there’s an unholy trifecta for nervous investors who may be somewhat shaken about a stock market that can be, to use yet another “u” word that financial analysts aren’t exactly crazy about, uneven.  The subject is approached in an excellent BlackRock piece in Shareholder magazine, headlined Command Your Financial Future, which features three “time tested pieces of investment advice.” Pension Parameters Financial Services, Inc., president Kevin F. McCormack says he was struck by the article’s sound strategies, reflecting his own view that “prudent, patient decisions—and goals–for the long term should more sensibly trump emotional reactions to (and investing decisions affecting) short-term conditions.” The next three blogs will excerpt the article:

Rule No. 1 .“Invest with your head, not your stomach.

“Market ups and downs may have your stomach in knots, but it’s important not to let that derail you from your long-term plan. Those who exit the market out of fear often miss buying opportunities and fruitful upturns.

“We don’t need to look too far back in history to see how this played out. Those who exited the stock market at the height of the financial crisis missed out on tremendous returns since then. Through October 2013, the S&P 500 was up 132% from its March 2009 low. Investors who did not panic and stayed the course would have handily recouped the 43% loss from the depths of the crisis (Sept. 15, 2008 to March 9, 2009).”

Next up: Focus on time “in,” not timing.”