What Does it Take to be a Wise Investor?
Life is full of fresh questions, stressful events, and complications that always seem to find us. Let’s take a moment to think of ways to keep money worries from falling onto that list so you can spend more time with the people you love and less time pouring over your finances.
We’ve put together a quick guide to common mistakes we see arising again and again in the investment sphere. Hopefully, by taking the time to introspect on some of these topics a bit, the goal of a solid financial foundation for your family is even more within your reach.
Getting distracted by current crazes, investing on a whim, or modeling your plans on someone else’s ideas are all sure-fire ways to empty your account before you’ve even begun! Your plan, strategy, and portfolio should all be custom-built around your specific goals, whether they’re retirement hopes, a college fund, or another gift for your family life. Focusing on short-term, quick buck investments is always the wrong way to achieve your long-term goals, so keep them in mind to avoid mistakes.
Eggs and Baskets
Yep, you can guess where we’re going with this one. Don’t put them all in one! Diversifying a portfolio is key to managing the finely tuned balance of risk and return, so you shouldn’t be looking to bet everything on one potential success story. On the other hand, it’s possible to overdo the diversification and land yourself in similar difficulties. Work with your advisor to build a successful investment portfolio based around your family’s needs.
Not all successful investment graphs are a straight line — in fact, most of them aren’t. If you’re thinking too hard about the short-term success of your strategy, you’re likely to be missing the big picture and the rewards of a long-term performance. Always talk to your advisor if you’re concerned, but keep your vision wide: long-term investment goals aren’t achieved overnight.
Understanding advisor and fund fees can be a full-time job in itself. The way to grow your family’s wealth is with a professional who is bound to always have your best interests in mind. Choose to use a fiduciary advisor. A fiduciary firm will never work on commission from other sources, are always transparent about their fees upfront, and must work with their clients’ best interests in mind. These are legal requirements that allow advisors to fly the trusted fiduciary flag, and I am certainly proud to have started a firm that falls within these guidelines. I see that my clients appreciate the clear communication that a fiduciary advisor offers and they know that I have their best interests at heart. A few percent here and there flying under your radar can make a huge difference to your overall portfolio and the time it takes to reach your goals, so don’t fall into the high commission trap!
Putting your family’s future on the line can be really scary. Big financial decisions can be sabotaged by that fear, as the temptation to sell low or buy high becomes overwhelming and upsets the balance of your investment. Blindly following big headlines and biased media coverage can have the same effect; keeping an advisor on hand who can manage your assets from an informed, objective perspective is key to preventing emotionally charged errors.
Expecting the World by the End of the Week
Great investments typically have one feature in common: time. Trading too soon or too often is just as damaging as nearsightedness, and a truly diversified portfolio can only be built with your specific needs in mind over a reasonable period of time. So in short, you’ve got to let it sit for a while!
Forgetting All About It
Some investors find they have a total opposite problem to ‘too much too soon’ and forget all about their stakes. Portfolios can evolve in a matter of mere months, so you should be checking in with your investments once a year at the very least. A successful portfolio should be weighed and edited. Even after carefully growing a bespoke strategy, your assets need to be managed by an advisor who knows your goals inside and out, so they can provide a service to fit your family. That’s why we suggest you use an advisor that focuses on regular management and growth across an evolving timeline.
Predicting the Future
Unfortunately, nobody can. If a company is enjoying current success, that doesn’t mean it won’t nosedive in the future. For the same reasons, it’s almost impossible to make a profit from market timing (buying and selling quickly based on future price movements). A great financial advisor won’t claim to know how the market’s going to move, but they will create a portfolio via tried and tested methods of diversification, calculated risk, and great math.
If you’d like to get in touch with FamilyVest to discuss how we can help you and your family achieve personal financial goals, please feel free to make a no obligation appointment on our calendar.