Welcome to 2019 and Happy New Year.
Remember the original, first run of the movie, Rocky? Even if you were not around (or born) in 1976 to see the movie in person, you probably know the theme song and the story by heart. The film is timeless.
Investing advice can be timeless as well. Here are several pieces of professional advice and perspective that I have come to firmly believe in my over 30 years in financial services and would like to pass on to you:
- Predictions are worthless, and discipline is imperative.
- Successful investors act continuously on a plan. Failed investors, in my experience, react to current events in the economy or in the markets.
- I am not here to forecast the economy, time market corrections, nor predict which sectors will outperform over some block of time.
- I am here as a trusted planner first and foremost.
- To clarify, I work to align clients’ portfolios with their most cherished goals and values. My firm and I have found that aligning portfolios to a client’s goals and values yields the Greatest Probability of Success*.
Consider these four essential principles of portfolio management that I follow in pursuit of my clients’ most important goals:
- Performance of a portfolio relative to a benchmark is largely irrelevant to financial success.In other words, beating an indexed benchmark is not a financial goal, nor does it ensure financial success. This may be the most under-rated statement in financial services.
- The only benchmark we should care about is the one that indicates whether or not you are on track to accomplish what is most important to YOU.
- Therefore, risk should not be defined as short-term fluctuations in your account but rather as the probability that you will NOT achieve your financial goals.
- The primary objective of long-term investing needs to be to minimize that risk (see #3) to the greatest extent practicable.
Please ask me about any of these principles. I encourage you to seek my advice and perspective in order to stay focused on your goals in 2019… and beyond.
*Greatest Probability of Success is discussed in a defined Investment Policy Statement. Ask me about this.