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S&P's index guru shares his most important investing lesson from the last 4 decades

  • Howard Silverblatt, who joined Standard & Poor's in 1977, says investors should step back and focus on the long-term "big picture."
  • Silverblatt is senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. He is responsible for the statistical analysis of the firm's indexes including the S&P 500.

  • There is approximately $7.8 trillion bench-marked to the S&P 500 index, according to the company's website.

Source: CNBC

Howard Silverblatt, who joined Standard & Poor's in 1977, believes investors need to stop worrying over day-to-day moves in the stock market to achieve investing success.

CNBC's Mike Santoli spoke with Silverblatt in an exclusive interview for CNBC PRO. Santoli asked the index expert about the most important lesson he has learned over the decades following the markets.

"We're watching the market almost tick-by-tick. Day-by-day ... You need to be able to step back. And look at the whole forest from the trees," Silverblatt said. "Seeing the big picture still remains, over the 40 years, the key to investing."

He also shared the essential questions investors should periodically ask themselves:

"Where am I going? What am I doing? What is my tolerance? Can I live through a 10 percent cut? Do I want to add to stocks to that? Do I have the resources? When do I need my money? Knowing your own situation whether you're an individual or fund [is important]."

Silverblatt is senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. The analyst is responsible for the statistical analysis of the firm's indexes including the S&P 500.

There is approximately $7.8 trillion bench-marked to the S&P 500 index, according to the company's website.

See here for the full CNBC PRO report and the interview video.