Investing doesn’t have to be complicated, but all too often we are influenced by the latest headlines. Choose a simple disciplined approach that’s tailored towards your vision for the future.
The financial plan comes first. Your goals will guide your investment decisions. It’s also how we’ll measure your success.
The financial plan helps answer important questions like how much you’re going to need to live in retirement, whether you can travel, work part-time or put your kids through college. How you’re invested should depend on your answers, and so this is where we will start. It’s not about beating a benchmark, it's about having the confidence you have enough saved to live on your terms.
Investing is for the long haul
If you’re going to need the funds soon for a major purchase like a home or college tuition, they shouldn’t be invested in the market.
The monthly and even annual fluctuations are just small blips on the radar. Many will need their investments to last 30, 40, or even 50 years. When you think about it that way, it really puts things into perspective.
You shouldn’t take on more risk than necessary
Finding the right balance of stocks, bonds, and cash is important and plays a large role in risk and return. In fact, studies show 90% of your return is based on how you’re divided amongst each of these categories.
With higher returns, comes more risk. The riskier your investments, the greater your chance of a large market loss. If you don’t need to get 10% per year to be able to retire when you want to, why take on the added risk that comes along with it?
Your investments should be low-cost, tax efficient, and broadly
diversified where possible
Keeping costs low means you’ll keep more of the return. High internal fees and investment costs can cut away at your account value.
Whenever possible, it’s best to invest in types of accounts and investments that save on taxes (now or in the future).
Diversification is avoiding too much stock in one company or sector and making sure you have exposure to companies of all different types and sizes. Today, investing broadly also means investing globally.