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LLOYD: Keep positive when you look at investments

Quite appropriately, the recent economic downfall of Greece has spurned a barrage of watchful analysts, busy assessing the American market and the impending repercussions on our financial system. Essentially, Greece's debt woes hold the startling capacity to ignite a firestorm of debt crises throughout Europe, which can lead to a plummet in global recovery efforts and a constraint upon the ongoing reconstruction of our American economy.

The demise of Greece's financial infrastructure will almost inevitably lead to some setbacks within our economic makeup. Comparable to other severe economic pitfalls, Greece is experiencing a subset of problems to accommodate this decline in financial stability. An increase in taxes to compensate for a direct cut in social services coupled with a growing unemployment rate fiercely yield a very weak infrastructure with little chance of immediate recovery.

Yet, even with this being said, it is impossible to fully assess our financial future and the global economy's impact at home. The situation in Greece is an appropriate prompt for Americans to use their discretion when investing their money in both domestic and international markets. Because market readings fluctuate, it is absolutely necessary for us to be knowledgeable on all aspects of our investment portfolios to maximize financial gain and ensure security of our futures.

When analyzing a portfolio, no matter the current market state, it is essential to take a variety of factors into account. A true understanding of the risks associated with your investments is crucial for success. Additionally, you should understand how many different asset classes are being invested in, as well as when you will need to start withdrawing money from your invested accounts on a regular basis depending upon your age and goals. Analyzing risks associated with your portfolio will help eliminate unnecessary stress associated with the unknown.

A traditionally successful portfolio should generally consist of more than 12,000 unique holdings, 21 distinct asset classes and more than 40 countries. As international markets either suffer or succeed, it is important for Americans to curb their personal risk by making sure that their portfolios are truly diversified. Regardless of the current state of Greece or Europe, the United States will eventually produce fully fruitful markets.

Therefore it is important for us to remember not to adopt an attitude of negativity regarding financial investments. Our market is a strong one and one that -- dependent upon age and if you have the peace of mind that you can sleep at night -- should be engaged in. Certain market sectors may significantly benefit from the international crisis, while others will suffer. Americans should take into account that the international crisis is not over yet -- nor is the domestic one, for that matter. But this does mean that the rewards can still be great if you are diversified appropriately and achieving the predictable results you expect for your needs.

Mark Lloyd is the founder of The Lloyd Group Inc. His "Focus On Retirement," weekly radio show can be heard in Gainesville on WXKT 103.7-FM at 9:30 a.m. Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. Sundays. To learn more about The Lloyd Group, call 770-932-0387 or visit www.thelloydgroupinc.com.