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Set Financial Goals So Emotions Don’t Derail Your Investments offered tips to help you keep your emotions out of investments. Emotions, such as concern for your family’s future, can fuel your desire to invest but they may cause problems if you let emotions derail your investment. In a culture that often tells you to follow your gut, you may find at times that your emotions can lead you astray when it comes to investment strategy.

The article first suggests that you set financial goals. Goals can help you to keep perspective. For example, if you hear about a big change in the market, you don’t have to panic if you know that you are planning to retire in 20 years. At the same time, you may want to invest more aggressively if you retirement is not far away. No matter what your retirement outlook, you need goals to set some parameters. That way, no matter what happens you can see how possible decisions line up with your goals.

While suggests that work with a professional such as a Fee-Only financial planner because “Entrusting a neutral third party who can help you examine your situation dispassionately and encourage you to stay on track…” they also suggest that you “do your own research…even if you have outside assistance.” As the article notes, it is difficult to take ownership of your investments if you don’t know much about the organizations or products you invest in.

You need a balance between being aware of what you are investing in but having some distance from your investments so you don’t sell to quickly or allow sentiment to cause you to hold on to an investment that you need to sell. This is where a Fee-Only financial advisor can help: a professional can give you perspective once you’ve done your own research. And a financial advisor can help you create and when necessary revise your financial goals.