Many experiences in my life I use as a parallel to financial planning and investing.
My family is in the process of building a new house. We have an excellent contractor/builder who has guided us through most of the process and made it seem much easier easier and smoother than we imagined it would be as we delegated almost everything.
This is similar to when people realize they need help with financial planning. At some point you are too busy to plan on your own, or your situation becomes too complex and you need to delegate. The guidance provided by planning with a professional will save you time and potentially prevent you from making a mistake in the long term.
If all this went so great and smooth, why am I writing a blog entry? Simply put, choosing paint colors was paralyzing. Since paint can be deeply personal, we felt a bit left in the lurch.
Not wanting to handle this, and perhaps being a master delegator, my wife left this task to me; The Planner.
Here are the facts I could work with: I knew my daughter Jocelyn (age 5) wanted a pink bedroom, but a different pink from our last house. We had tried a light fun green with our younger daughter Addison (age 2) at our last home. While we liked the color, friends and family later shared with us they thought the color was hideous. So here we were going with pale purple. We want our bedroom to be gray and I wanted a bold blue study.
Let’s compare this to choosing investments.
THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES! There are over 7,000 active mutual funds and 5,000 Exchange Traded Funds in the investment universe. If you were to Google “gray Benjamin Moore paint” you will be shocked at the number of results and choices. We can narrow these choices down using investment style, ie – large cap growth and further by active vs. passive. Let’s further simplify and choose a large growth ETF. Many of these are the similar but have slight variances even if they track the same index. Just like gray paint. Paint may look identical, but a subtle difference changes the whole color. Then I realized I had to do this with pink, purple, and blue! My head was spinning. Each room was a different strategy; large cap, small cap, international, growth, value. My house was my portfolio. Some areas bigger where we needed to have more basic colors, and other areas small where maybe we could take more risk and be less traditional.
This is the moment I wished someone would walk through the house with my wife and I with a magic paintbrush and could select the colors for us based on our input and style. After thinking about is some more, I realized this is what I do for clients and their investment portfolios. After learning about your goals, desires, wants, wishes, tax status and other areas, I am able to design a portfolio for you that fits your needs. We can help you design a portfolio that seeks to minimize taxes, pursue aggressive growth or even a stream of income in retirement. After a few years, if the investment goes out of style or no longer fits your needs, we can sell it and buy a different one. Think of this as paining over a room.
If you are tired of investing on your own, thinking of designing a portfolio that fits your needs or want a second opinion on existing investments, lets talk. I will be your magic paintbrush going from room to room choosing the investments that fit you best.
Investing in mutual funds involves risk, including possible loss of principal.
An investment in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), structured as a mutual fund or unit investment trust involves the risk of losing money and should be considered as part of an overall program. An investment in ETFs involves additional risks, such as not diversified, price, volatility, competitive industry pressure, international political and economic developments, possible trading halts, and index tracking errors.
Exchange Traded Funds concentrating in specific industries are subject to higher risks and volatility than those that invest more broadly.
The prices of small and mid-cap stocks are generally more volatile than large cap stocks.