You, like many investors, probably took a beating in the market meltdown and suffered losses in your exchange traded fund (ETF) portfolio. What’s happened has happened, but now is the time to step back and consider where you could do things differently next time.

The silver lining to the recent bear market is that painful experiences remain in our memories for a long time and provide lessons for the future, says Bob Frick for Kiplinger. This time around, when you are allocating your portfolio, also be sure to have a solid investment strategy implemented. (Are you in the rally?)

One of the keys to investing success is to master your emotions, and it’s one of the hardest things a person can do. If hope, anxiety and regret are feelings that have left you with a shattered portfolio, there is a better way to pick yourself up again. (Did human nature put your portfolio through the ringer this past market pullback?)

Why have a strategy? A strategy will take the place of your stomach and your heart. With enough practice, your strategy will be your emotional trump card. When the uptrend is there, a simple, sound strategy will have you in the markets. When the trend peters out, your strategy will tell you it’s time to sell.

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