Client education is one of our most important objectives, but exactly what are we trying to teach and why? Well, there are six major themes that we want to convey, each of which is needed in order to have a successful investing experience. Without all of these traits, adherence to the financial and investment plan often falters. Clients who exhibit these traits are much more likely to value fiduciary advice versus the transactional, sales-oriented approach of brokers, banks and insurance firms.
1. Clients who enjoy a good investing experience exhibit an understanding of market history. That is, the evidence available for all to see that demonstrates the above inflation returns from stocks over varying swaths of time. There should also be an awareness that these returns are not predictable…by anyone.
2. After basic market history, successful investors have an appreciation for the building blocks of risk and return. This includes the differences between long-term expected returns in stocks and bonds. Because of inflation, you can’t solve long-term goals without some risk, or without some exposure to stocks.
3. All successful investors have a clear focus on their time horizon, and that becomes their only relevant benchmark. Client-specific goals are always in the forefront and these goals are forward-looking. What happened last week, last quarter or even last year is of little concern.
4. Successful investors fully expect market volatility as the price for long-term above inflation returns. They comprehend that volatility is not the same as loss.
5. Good long-term investors are aware of the many complex psychological barriers that must be overcome in order to have a positive investing experience. Cognitive traps and built-in behavioral biases often work to unravel financial plans.
6. Above all else, successful investors have a willingness not only to listen and learn but also to act on advice. Good advice without any action is of no real value. Our aim is to provide the right advice, in the right way, so that it will be acted upon.
We provide wealth guidance for life. Having a good investing experience supports the aims of your larger life. We focus on long-term client relationships because helping clients achieve important life goals does not happen quickly or easily. A successful investing experience is worth the effort. Ready for a change? Ready for a real conversation?