By Jim Werner, CFP
If you had a choice of three programs, what would you watch?
- Get Rich Now
- Beat the Market Madness
- Comprehensive Financial Planning and Time-Tested Investment Advice
The third option is an unlikely choice. It sounds boring. But sometimes, boring works.
Exciting headlines and dramatic themes can easily distract and tempt us to make decisions that may feel good in the short-run, but not necessarily aligned with our desired, long-term outcomes.
In the short term, the investment pendulum can quickly swing both ways. We never know how fast or when it will swing in one direction or the other. Sometimes it seems like nothing can ever go wrong. Other times, it seems like there is always a reason not to invest. Trying to “Get Rich Now” or “Beat the Market Madness” is a trap. Comprehensive financial planning aligned with time-tested investment advice will always be in favor, even though it’s a headline you never see.
Every couple of years there seems to be a financial headline that spooks investors. Inexperienced or emotional investors can easily make bad decisions at the wrong time. The absence of a comprehensive financial plan can create feelings of worry, frustration, and stress. Experienced investors know that time is on their side, along with the time-tested efficiencies of the capital markets. The plan also provides a sense of security, control, and confidence. The successful investor will make decisions based on their plan, and not on their emotions. Ultimately, this becomes the big differentiator.
An investor that left the market in 1979 after reading the headline, “The Death of Equities,” would have missed an eight-year period of time where the S&P 500 Index doubled.
An investor that left the market in 1987 after reading the “Market ‘Meltdown’” headline would have missed an opportunity where the S&P 500 Index more than tripled.
An investor that left the market in 2009 after reading “Crisis on Wall Street” would have missed an 11-year period where the S&P 500 Index quadrupled.
Don’t fall into the headline risk trap. There always seems to be a reason not to invest. We must stay disciplined and loyal to our comprehensive financial plan and time-tested investment advice. When you remain invested, declines are temporary, advances are permanent.
About the author: Jim Werner, CFP®
Jim Werner, vice president, Halliday Financial, offers a personal approach to helping his clients and their families make smart decisions with their finances. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, he is held to the highest ethical and education standards. By listening to what is most important to his clients, Jim develops high quality comprehensive financial plans with recommendations that are appropriate for the financial plan.
Since joining Halliday in 2009, Jim has supported the firm’s relationship with the City University of New York as an advisor to CUNY’s base pension and supplemental retirement accounts. His skills as an educator have also been utilized by Molloy College, where he served as the director and an instructor of Molloy’s graduate business program (2010 – 2015) in personal financial planning, teaching classes in financial planning, investment planning, employee benefits, and retirement planning.
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