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Whether you’re going through this process on your own or are working with a professional, there are several critical steps you must take to help ensure success.
You must create a plan. You must be realistic about the amount of volatility you’re able to take on your journey. You must update your plan regularly as the landscape changes. You must rebalance your investments, which takes funds from higher valued “winning” investments and adds to lesser performing assets, which is the definition of selling high and buying low. You must address and mitigate risks to your plan with insurance. All these steps must be accepted as fundamental tenants of a successful plan. They require time, patience, and discipline.
Through the years, however, we’ve found that investor behavior – and not investment performance - is the dominant determinant in the outcome of a successful plan. In other words, it trumps everything else.
To illustrate the point, please note the bottom half of the graph below, which shows average annual returns of different asset classes over 20 years. More specifically, note that the average investor earned an annual average 2.1% return over that same time period. How is that even possible?
The answer: Bad behavior. Many investors routinely sabotage the best made plans due to emotions at market extremes. That’s where we come in, and provide our real value to you. There are days when investors feel compelled, for example, to throw out their 30 year retirement income plan and sell their investments (inevitably at low values) because (you name it) some catastrophe du jour. Conversely, there are days when that same investor entertains the notion of focusing their entire portfolio into a “hot” sector/tip that just performed really well (buying high), thereby abandoning a carefully crafted diversification strategy.
We’re here to keep that from happening to you. That’s our professional calling in life. We’re behavioral investment advisors, and we’ll make sure we’re right there with you, step by step, to avoid the emotional pitfalls along the way.
Rebalancing in a taxable account could result in tax consequences.
All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Please click here for the index definitions.