Do you know what the stock market will do tomorrow? Or next week? Or next month? If you spend any time reading the financial press, you'll find lots of people who think they do. Some are certain it will fall. Others are convinced it will rise. And everyone has their reasons.

As the markets have become more volatile recently, the volume of these opinions seems to have been turned up. That can lead to confusion among individual investors. And fear.

While I certainly carry some bias since I now work for SMI, I'm still new enough to take a bit of an outsider-looking-in view. One of the attributes I admire about SMI is the organization's advice isn't based on a consensus opinion about where the people who work here think things are going. Our strategies and investment recommendations are based on unemotional, objective data.

And those recommendations are always made within the context of a steady-hand-on-the-wheel approach to investing that rests on a few core tenets: 1. Have a plan. 2. Stick with your plan. 3. If you think this time is different, re-read rules one and two.

Recently when the markets were going a bit crazy, I was curious to know how Mark responds to circumstances like that (I already knew how Austin responds—he was at the beach with his family!). I wondered if Mark would be poring over some spreadsheets or speed-reading the latest news spread across both of his computer screens. I wondered if there would be any visible signs of worry on his face.

I found him matter-of-factly putting together a turkey sandwich in our office kitchen, showing not the least bit of concern with what was happening on Wall Street. It spoke volumes about what it means to be an investor, not a trader.