Heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they are punched in the mouth.” While he wasn’t talking about investing, we can easily apply it to that topic as global stock markets surely punched investors in the mouth in the latter part of 2018.
Despite the punch in the mouth, you as an investor should be commended and congratulated. We know the market’s ups-and-downs can be emotionally taxing and our advice to stay the course may seem trite, but time and time again, staying focused on our plan worked.
With the recovery from last year’s decline well underway, we thought it would be helpful to revisit three key aspects of your plan as a reminder of why we do what we do.
First off, the foundation of your investment plan is diversification. A lot of time, energy and resources are allocated to researching and selecting asset classes and funds that historical evidence has shown to benefit investors in the long run. We know that these strategies won’t pan out every day, but the more time we give them, the greater the opportunity for them to add value. We also don’t place all our faith in one asset class or strategy to deliver our potential investment success. We allocate between cash, bonds, and stocks of some of the globe’s best companies. And, the stocks we invest in come in all sizes and styles.
The second part of your plan is education. Our minds might easily latch on to an elegant explanation of what is currently driving markets up or down, or our fight-or-flight instincts may kick in at the wrong time leading to an investment decision we may regret. This is why we feel it is beneficial to provide historical perspective and balance to what we hear on the radio and from the talking heads. And, this is what we attempt to accomplish with our one-on-one meetings and from the articles and communications we regularly send you.
The final, and most powerful, part of your plan is our focus on what is important to you: Your Goals. When investors ask us to give them the best performing portfolio we have, we ask, “Why?” The best-performing portfolio changes all the time, and we would rather give our clients the best portfolio for them. That is one that considers your ability and willingness to take risk and your life goals.
Where markets go from here in 2019 is really anybody’s guess, but your plan should only change when your goals change. If you changed jobs, want to see if you can retire earlier, plan on moving, or have a child preparing for college, please reach out. We’d love to hear about these changes and see if your current plan needs to be updated.