Proper financial and retirement planning might seem complex at first, but an effective plan should be straight forward and uncomplicated. We believe that a well-developed financial plan that is implemented and followed is the secret to successful real-life outcomes. Investors oftentimes make mistakes when markets are transitioning. A financial plan helps clients separate financial decisions from emotions. In our experience, goal-driven decisions are superior to market-driven decisions. We will undoubtedly continue to see market shocks and periods of excessive risking taking in the future – that’s part of the game. But we believe that a well-designed financial plan can help insulate clients from making short-term decisions based on emotion.
We seek to partner with our clients and work together towards their goals. Our compensation system, beliefs, and investment manager selection process all reflect this philosophy. We operate under a fiduciary duty to serve the client first, but equally important, our values reflect the commitment to serve our clients’ needs first. We care deeply that our clients reach their financial goals. We are completely independent from the products we propose so our clients can be comfortable that we are under no obligation to push any proprietary or highly compensated-products that are not in their best interests.
We focus on the moderate to longer-term trends – which are typically positive – when investing for the future. Bad news happens quickly while good news happens slowly. Too many firms and the financial media are eager to offer negative information on the current state of the economy, what could go wrong, the next crash etc. Frankly, it’s nauseating. While the economy can be important for business decisions, employment, etc., it typically should be of little concern to the patient, disciplined, and goal-focused investor.
In my experience, when we focus on planning, partnering, and patience, then we typically create the conditions that allow for successful outcomes. Goal-focused financial planning allows clients to concentrate on pursuing their intensely personal goals and not necessarily how markets performed in any given year. We control what we can, but ultimately the degree of success a financial plan achieves will depend, in part, on circumstances and events that we cannot control. We cannot control financial markets, terrorism, natural disasters, tax laws, oil prices, interest rates, or war. But we can control – and we must control – our emotions around our investments, and a goal-focused financial plan helps clients do just that. In addition, we must show commitment and faith in capital markets and the principles of free societies that allow talented, smart people to implement their ideas through the process of business collaboration. When done properly, these people ultimately create a better life for us and our families by developing new and improved products and services. If we believe this – and this is the only sane belief – then we are showing faith in other human beings and their ability to create real, genuine, sustainable value. As investors, we have historically profited from their efforts over time even though we might be uncertain of outcomes. And this, my friends, is why we invest.