April 15, 2015
LIFE GOAL INVESTING
The date of this letter is April 15. On this day, many of us in the United States will write a check to the IRS to pay our taxes.
This reminds us of our yearly budget: daily living expenses, healthcare, taxes, education, insurance, transportation, travel, entertainment, etc.
We save all of our working lives to build a nest egg in order to be financially ready for retirement.
Life goal based investing reminds us what our financial obligations are and what we want our investment portfolios to accomplish. “What do we need from our investable assets?”
The financial profession always asks new clients for their return requirements and risk profile. Many investors answer that they want to outperform the markets/indexes and they cannot handle more than 10-15% loss in their portfolio.
Are these the right questions to ask? I don’t think so. No one, including Warren Buffett, can outperform the markets every year. And we can assure you that the markets and the value of portfolios at one point in time will go down by more than 15% when no one, including Wall Street, the Central Banks or regulators worldwide, expects it.
Then, what should our objective be? And how do we manage risk and prepare for volatility in the markets?
The reasons we accumulate and invest our wealth are:
a) Our portfolio provides income to supplement our income needs
b) Our portfolio grows over time (during economic cycles of boom and bust) by more than inflation
If we can accomplish this– to provide income and protect against inflation – then we never run out of money. We accomplish financial peace of mind!
When we have financial peace of mind, we no longer need to worry about the headlines in the news or volatility in the markets. Worry leads to emotional decisions that can ruin our portfolios and retirement goals. See Noesis’ April 2014 quarterly letter: “Behavioral finance!” It’s on our website or we can forward it to you.
Most investors, including the so-called professionals, try to “beat the markets.” When times are good they are fully invested and buy real estate with borrowed money when low interest rate loans are available. Risk management is no longer important when performance is great. They think: “We are outperforming. We feel smart and rich.” And then a liquidity crisis hits. There are no buyers in the bond, stock, commodity or real estate markets. Banks call the loans, and businesses and wealth get destroyed. Sound familiar? This happens on average several times each generation. The latest was the great financial recession of 2008. Seven years later, many individuals and countries have still not recovered from it. We never seem to learn, and we miss the opportunity to teach the next generation these essential lessons. One hundred and eight years ago we endured the panic of 1907: we saw a replay in 2008. History repeats itself. Please ask us to mail you a copy of the book: The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm by Robert Bruner and Sean Carr.
When our objectives are to meet our personal financial goals as opposed to outperforming the markets, mistakes can be avoided. It is okay if the markets go up more than our portfolios as long as we receive the income we need to live the lifestyle we want and our portfolios grow to protect against inflation.
When down markets come and there is no liquidity, and there is blood in the streets, we are in a position to take advantage. We can seize the opportunities that have presented themselves in the markets, while being disciplined and not emotional. Good assets can be bought inexpensively and will handsomely outperform the markets over time.
This brings us to another important goal of life – what we do with our talent, time and wealth. Noesis has a very diverse clientele across nationalities, cultures, educational background, age groups and wealth. Of course, each will have different goals; nevertheless, it feels good to be financially independent and have the resources to plan and fulfill the dreams that are important to you and your family.
I write about “we” – not the client, Noesis or your relationship manager. You and your family come first. We at Noesis want to be involved in helping you to achieve your life-long goals. It’s a process. We can provide a portfolio analysis of all your assets and liabilities and provide a retirement cash flow plan using our proprietary software. Together, we can plan and be ready for the future.
In our December 2009 letter we wrote: “The firm’s vision statement is: to be a trusted advisor providing our clients financial peace of mind” and that’s exactly what we are committed to do.
Enclosed you will find an organization chart of your professional staff and how they work together to help you achieve that peace of mind. You, the client, are at the center of the diagram. Additionally, we have included a copy of your professional staff’s bios.
Noesis is a Greek word which means ‘’the process of knowledge.’’ Learning is a two-way street: we want to learn from you as well.
Form ADV is available upon request