Really cool feeling to be posting article #100 to our blog today! We launched this medium last March as a way to communicate with our fans and future fans. The premise then and now remains simple, let’s share what it takes to become a successful long-term investor.
There is no shortage of financial information floating around in the enormous sea of noise. How do you sort and filter the good stuff from the rest? Our writing attempts to shine a light (knowledge) on various financial and life planning topics we and our clients have experienced the past 25 years. Sharing perspectives, stories, advice, and strategy. Often airing on the side of simplicity as opposed to the common path of complexity. We’re not perfect nor do we have all the answers. We do have experience in working with a diverse group of professionals and families across the country. Clients acting (not reacting) daily while seeking to control as much of their time as possible.
Timing couldn’t have been better when we began to publish our work as the markets had contracted significantly as a response to Covid. Today, we know more about pandemics and the fact that markets are resilient if given enough time. By talking about the market, we are describing thousands of different size companies all over the world. Some of these companies have been resilient too, continuing to expand to large present-day values. Other companies have contracted permanently or been acquired.
When investing, we feel it’s less about selecting “the” company and much more about choosing all companies. How do you choose the right mix of companies? We believe it begins with having a plan that outlines where you are and where you’d like to be. Taking inventory of your current financial house, your financial plumbing system, and reflecting on what you see.
Through reflection and considering all possibilities a plan may begin to take shape. Not all plans are created equal, nor should they be judged against each other. What works for one family may not for another. That’s the beauty in planning and outlining what you want for yourself and those you care about.
Plans do change overtime and that’s ok. What seems urgent and important in your late 40s may not carry the same weight in your 50s and 60s. The key is understanding that a good plan begins with your goals. The portfolio is always second. How can you begin to invest if you don’t know what you are investing for? “More” a common response when investing is not the answer. The herd will follow more for decades until they realize life is easier and less stressful when you define “enough”. Knowing what enough means to you is refreshing, many will wish they discovered this sooner. Knowing your definition of enough allows you to focus your energy and attention on inputs in your control. This includes what you choose to save, invest, and spend as you go about your day.
It may be tough to know exactly what you want at various life stages. Sometimes it’s difficult to articulate goals with complete clarity. The vision may be there, but the path may not be as clear as you’d like. Many may privately evaluate choices in their head before proceeding with a decision. Some decisions get made while many get deferred indefinitely. It’s just too easy for urgent and important to take the place of a positive forward step with your financials today.
Planning as we view it, is communicating with someone you trust on a regular and reoccurring basis. The conversation is wide and deep, much like a river. Often some of the most meaningful decisions and opportunities discussed have less to do with financials and more to do with living a great life. A financial plan offers guiderails to getting closer to what’s important, the real value is in the ongoing dialogue. Communication and trust are the two essential ingredients to successful planning. Mapping out your journey and working in the right direction adjusting as you go. All made possible with conversations.
Thanks for reading and allowing us to put as much good out there in the world as possible!
Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Flowerstone Financial are not affiliated.