Forget Volatile Markets, Worry About This Instead...

January was a volatile month in the market. The S&P 500 was down 5.1%, and we saw a number of daily swings -- up and down -- of 1% or more.

If you ever wanted a test in risk tolerance, January has given you one. If you had a few sleepless nights, you might want to stick with less volatile securities going forward. Or you might want to sell the one or two holdings that have caused you the most worry.

I don't like a down or volatile market any better than the next investor. But I've learned not to worry about day-to-day gyrations.

For one thing, the portfolio in my premium newsletter, The Daily Paycheck , isn't as volatile as the market. So far, I'm only down 1.7% year-to-date. Sure, it's not ideal, but it's far better than what the overall market has done so far.

That's mostly due to the income that streams in on a regular basis. Dividend-paying securities act as a buffer against the bumps. I also know that, through dividend reinvestment, I'm continually adding shares at lower prices and higher yields. And that gives me a big advantage over the long term.

That's not to say I don't worry, though. I just worry about different things...

For instance, I worry that more than a third of those with long-term care insurance at age 65 will let their policies lapse, forfeiting their benefits and past premium payments. Long-term care insurance premiums are hefty -- roughly $2,000 to $3,000 annually. And when older workers get laid off or incur an unanticipated financial liability, the first thing to go is their insurance premiums -- approaching the time of their lives when they would have needed it most.

I worry about people like Bill Hendershot. Bill is a 74-year old retired truck driver. He and his wife were living comfortably on his pension and their Social Security benefits. But according to CNN, Bill got a letter in October warning him that his pension might get cut by as much as 60%, reducing their total monthly income by more than 30%.

You might have thought that Bill's pension was safe. But a new law that passed in December 2014 allows certain kinds of pension plans to cut benefits -- even after the beneficiary has retired. These types of pension plans cover more than 10 million workers and retirees.

I also worry that the Social Security Trust funds are being strained by the wave of Baby Boomers heading into retirement. While there are a number of measures Congress could take to shore up this important program, this Congress doesn't have the best record for getting things done. In fact, Social Security could become a political football as we head into a major election cycle. I sure don't want to depend on an act of Congress for my secure retirement.

All of this adds up to my single biggest fear: I worry that people don't have a dependable income stream .

My newsletter's mission is to ensure that folks like you and me have a dependable source of income when we need it. So far, it's working. In 2015, my dividend income grew by 6.6%, allowing me to collect a record $19,449 in dividends. That means, despite a less-than-stellar year for income payers overall, my portfolio is earning more now than it has at any time since its inception.

January proved to bring more of the same. Despite a volatile market, my readers and I have been able to weather the storm and keep on collecting dividends.

Sure, I keep a sharp eye on the market -- but not because the day-to-day matters. What matters is my ability to choose suitable investments that are consistent with market conditions. What matters -- what always matters -- is my portfolio's ability to generate a dependable income stream.

So rather than worry about the day-to-day gyrations of the market, commodity prices, the Presidential election -- whatever -- ask yourself this: Will I have a dependable income stream to help me in retirement?

If you even hesitate to answer this question, then I urge you to learn more about how my Daily Paycheck subscribers and I are generating consistent, reliable income from the market's most promising income securities.

That's why I created my newsletter. I wanted to show individual investors that it's possible to create an income-generating portfolio that can sustain you during retirement no matter what stage of your life you're in or how much you're starting with. If you're interested in learning more about my strategy and how you can get started on building an income stream that can pay you thousands of dollars a month, I invite you to follow this link .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Founded in 2001 by industry veterans, StreetAuthority is a financial research and publishing division of Investing Daily. Our mission is to help individual investors earn above-average profits by providing a source of independent, unbiased — and most of all, profitable — investing ideas. Unlike traditional publishers, StreetAuthority doesn’t simply regurgitate the latest stock market news. Instead, we provide in-depth research, plus specific investment ideas and immediate action to take based on the latest market events.

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