During times of extreme volatility, both up but usually down, it may be comforting to know you have a friend to turn to. I welcome all questions as that’s how an investor may grow their knowledge on various topics. Clear definitive answers are often desired, “what should I do” but rarely is it that simple.
A lot of questions may be answered, some may not. Making a prediction about what is happening now or will in the future is dangerous. Putting pressure and focus on all outcomes creates friction. Nobody has all the answers and knows what will happen next, I certainly don’t.
To thoughtfully answer an investor’s question/s requires asking more unique questions to understand what’s truly going on. My job as a coach is to find out where investors have been with their dollars. What sort of financial baggage have they inherited from their parents growing up? What do they most hope to achieve with what they have? What successes have been accomplished and how does one quantify what enough means? What will it take to repurpose your time successfully and stay successfully retired? Understanding the past is the key to better financial decisions today and into tomorrow. The responses above are the foundation to an investor’s financial plan.
Additionally, behavior, how the investor responds (or doesn’t), tends to influence real life results more than anything. Encouraging the correct behavior and not reacting is often easier said than done. It’s natural to feel sick when you watch your account values temporarily contract during this period of volatility. Talking with a friend makes it easier to hang in there and not react. Three traits successful investors have are remaining flexible, a good temperament, and being patient. You’ll never hear about these values on the news, just that things are bad and getting worse. The media is not the partner you need in times like these.
Planning and strategy around all financial and life topics is at the heart of what we do. This helps our current clients and those who may join us view the value proposition from day one. Establishing goals, assembling a plan, and ultimately directing your investments is the hierarchy of how things work here. Investments always report back to your goals and plan. Goals, planning, and then your portfolio in that order of importance. Many investors have this sequence backwards. Reviewing your possibilities once a year supports our repeatable process and informs you on what choices you have. Chatting anytime in between keeps your energy focused in the right direction. If your goals have not changed then neither should your portfolio.
Here’s the opportunity for all investors. Do you have a current goal-based plan and has it been updated since January 2022? It’s ok if the answer is no. The market has been favorable for some time and lulled many investors asleep with forward progress. It’s easy to ignore returns when they have been strong building up from the market bottom of March 2009. Sooner or later company values must contract and reset to further expand and grow. It’s not different this time, it never is.
I’m a financial planner, not an economist or market timer. I listen, ask questions, and remain curious. Some investors know exactly what they want while others are trying to figure it out. Results rarely arrive at once; it takes time as most valuable things do. Time allows reflection to take place and better decisions to be made. It also allows for relationships to grow and trust to strengthen. Some of our relationships date back over two decades, others have recently been created. Relationships (not account values) are what our firm is most proud of.
An algorithm will never replace us. Sure, there are super computers that “manage money” but none that try to manage an investors behavior, attitude, and increase their knowledge in an engaging manner. This is where the value lies in hiring a Certified Financial Planner™. Human nature is a flawed investor because that’s how we’re wired. Recognize it, accept it, and seek the council of another human who may allow you to be your best.
At Flowerstone Financial, we offer financial plans for a flat fee to all families and professionals who want help now. Regardless of assets, income, and geography, we offer an opportunity in creating a relationship together. It’s difficult to be an investor without a roadmap to follow. We bring transparency to the muddy waters of managing cash flow and what ultimately may be saved, invested, and spent. Our goal is to impart wisdom on themes that will not change overtime. Having a plan that an investor may implement themselves increases the likelihood of achieving goals.
A select few may choose to continue the relationship with us for plan implementation and ongoing monitoring. Each spring and fall we repeat our process and remain accessible throughout the year. Our purpose is straight forward. Serve a limited number of households by delivering clear communication and creating sustainability with regards to retirement income goals and legacy planning.
Financial and life decisions are like a big wool sweater. When you pull on one thread you are pulling on them all. The art of what we do is managing people and our unique process. Investments matter, but not as much as the people do. If you like to learn more or schedule an introductory chat with no obligation reach out below.
Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Flowerstone Financial are not affiliated.