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Earth Day lessons for investors

It’s almost Earth Day, when people around the world focus on ways of protecting and preserving the environment. And the lessons from this occasion can be applied to other areas of life — such as investing.

It’s almost Earth Day, when people around the world focus on ways of protecting and preserving the environment. And the lessons from this occasion can be applied to other areas of life — such as investing.

Here are some themes to consider:

• Sustainability – From an environmental perspective, sustainability encompasses a range of issues, such as using natural resources wisely. As an investor, you, too, need to protect your resources. So, for example, to sustain a long-term investment strategy, you won’t want to dip into your retirement accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k), to pay for major home or car repairs or other unexpected, costly bills before retirement. You can help prevent this by building an emergency fund containing several months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. And once you’re retired, you need to sustain your portfolio so it can help provide income for many years. For that to happen, you’ll need to maintain a withdrawal rate that doesn’t deplete your investments too soon.

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