This was not supposed to be this week’s essay topic. As I finished my lunch in which I was outlining about a different topic, the waitress at the Chinese restaurant put a fortune cookie on my table. It read:
“Any rough times are behind you.”
Yea right. This would be great if it could be true, but I know it can’t be. Life just does not work that way.
I know that I will face more challenges in the future, both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, one day my parents will age. I will face conflicts with my children, spouse or family members.
We will each face challenges in the future that will cause certain periods of “rough times” to deal with. One of the keys to our future is how we handle these difficult periods or the issues we will confront.
Will you handle it alone? Or will you choose to benefit from the support and guidance of friends, family and advisors? Will you talk and openly share with others? Will you be vulnerable, so others can try to provide you with guidance, strength and clarity?
During the past 5 weeks, investors have had to face another period of “rough times.” A few of our clients have called or come in for meetings, to talk through their concerns. This is our opportunity to add real value to their life, as we listened to their concerns and worries. During thes e conversations, we exchanged thoughts and ideas.
We were able to give them confidence that our underlying investment philosophy is still valid. Through this process, the calls and meetings ended with each person or couple feeling better about their investment plan and strategy.
In a different respect, some of the investment sectors or asset classes that we invest in may underperform other asset classes (they are facing a “rough time.”) This asset class or style underperformance may occur for a short time or a number of years. We don’t know in advance, as we can’t predict the future.
We continually monitor and evaluate the mutual funds that we recommend based on how well they do compared to their respective peers. We compare the apples to the apples, and the blueberries to the blueberries. Based on this criteria, the type of apples we recommend (the mutual funds we have selected) compare very favorably to other types of apples over the long term, based on their 3-5-10-15 year track records.
While the apples (mutual funds that we have selected) may underperform some other fruit for a period of time, we are confident that our overall investment strategy will continue to perform well over the long term. The blueberries may outperform the apples for a year or three years, but we are confident that our basket of fruit (mutual funds we select) will outperform the vast majority of other fruit (other actively managed mutual funds) over the next 3-5-10 years.
And maybe even more important, we are confident that the asset allocation and investment plan we structure for you will provide for your ongoing standard of living and financial objectives. The goal is not always about outperforming a certain market sector, it is about your future cash flow in retirement and your ability to sleep well at night.
No, not all the rough times are behind us.
There will be more drops in the stock market. There will be times when we each face personal crisis and problems. There will be times when some of our investment recommendations underperform certain sectors of the market.
But in the long run, working closely with us as your financial advisor when you do face personal, financial, estate planning issues or challenges will lead to a better outcome and help you to overcome these “rough times.”
We are here for you. Contact us when you need us. Or when you just want to talk something over.