Real Life Investment Strategies #1: Will Geopolitics Ruin My Financial Plans?

Timeless financial tips are well and good - but how do they apply to my investment decisions in real life? To address that question, I’m launching Lowrie Financial’s “Real Life Investment Strategies.” Each post in this new series will use case studies to illustrate the choices real people are making, as they contemplate money management concerns in real time. Many have active concerns around geopolitical events and their impact on their financial futures - clear theme emerges: • worrying thoughts about current events, • what the geopolitical climate may mean to your money, and • what investment strategies to avert setbacks for your financial future So, let’s address some of the more worrisome flash points looming large at this time: the world, its politics, and its politicians.

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2023 Financial Year in Review | 2024 Investment Market Outlook

You might assume, the more experienced a financial professional is, the more accurate they can be with their year-end forecasts. Personally, I’ve never tried to predict which hot or cold stocks, bonds, sectors, or market sentiments to chase or flee each year. Instead, the more experience I’ve gained, the more firmly I believe in the Timeless Financial Tips I shared throughout 2023. For me, they serve as the best guide for “predicting” what investors should expect in 2024. So, considering everything I’ve learned in 2023 (plus the quarter-century prior), I predict … We cannot possibly predict how 2024 markets will perform. That’s my expert forecast, and I’m sticking to it. I will, however, add one more prediction, about which I am nearly as certain … Over time (think multiple years), capital markets WILL deliver positive returns to those who consistently participate in their expected growth.

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Timeless Financial Tips from 2023 As We Turn to 2024

Yet another year has gone by. With 2023 behind us and 2024 on the horizon, it’s important to take stock, set goals, and make plans – keep steadfast in your quest for long-term financial planning and wealth management success. In 2023, I shifted my focus to keep some core financial planning principles at the forefront of your mind. These principles are timeless and are a good touchpoint for whenever your financial resolve starts to soften. Let’s look back at these timeless financial tips from 2023…

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tip #10: Making Legacy Planning More Meaningful

Let’s face it: When families list their favorite financial planning projects, legacy planning rarely makes the cut. It may feel as if you're putting the emphasis exclusively on death and taxes, rather than your lifetime pursuits such as building a career, pursuing your personal interests, stewarding your kids into adulthood, and retiring in style. Then again, I believe the term “legacy planning” is misleading to begin with. It sounds so dry and formal—as if it’s only for uber-rich, multigenerational dynasties, or the tail end of your lifespan. No wonder most people put off planning for it. In reality, legacy planning can be worthwhile for almost anyone. And it’s not just for later in life; key aspects of it can help you enjoy a more enriched life today. In today’s Timeless Tip, we’ll cover the possibilities.

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tip #9: Beware of Big Banks’ Conflicted Financial Advice

There’s only so much you and I can do about life’s many surprises. Some things just happen, beyond our control. Fortunately, to make the most of your hard-earned wealth, there is one huge and timeless best practice you can control: You can (and should) avoid seeking unbiased financial advice from biased sales staff. How do you separate solid investment advice from self-interested promotions in disguise? Here’s a handy shortcut: Are the investments coming from your friendly neighborhood banker? If so, please read the fine print—twice—before buying in. Due to inherently conflicting compensation incentives, most banks’ investment offerings are optimized to feed their profit margin, at your expense. Read on to understand how and why bank employees may not be your best source of independent financial advice.

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tip #8: 6 Enduring Insights for Fixed Income Investing

When’s the last time someone tried to talk you into chasing a “hot” Treasury bond run — NOW, before it’s too late! Probably never, right? Most of us recognize that’s not what fixed income investing is for. Bonds create stability; stocks and alternatives are where the excitement is at. And yet, I often see people forgetting this timeless truth, or at least investing as if they have. Plus, to further complicate things, not all bonds are created equal. This can trick you into thinking you’re playing it safe … Following are 6 best practices for fixed income investing across all kinds of markets, whether rates are rising, falling, or in a holding pattern.

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tip #7: 6 Steps to Retiring as Planned

Retirement isn’t the only reason to set aside current income for future spending. But since it’s usually the elephant in the financial planning room, it’s worth a Timeless Tip of its own. Following are 6 ways to leverage lifelong financial planning, so you can retire on your own terms and on your own timeline.

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tips #6: Aligning Your Investments with Your Investment Time Horizon

I’ve spent my entire career railing against the dangers of market-timing—i.e., dodging in and out of markets based on current conditions. But there is a time when “timing” of a different sort matters. I’m talking about your investment time horizons. Today, let’s look at how to use your personal time horizons to successfully separate today’s spending from tomorrow’s future wealth.

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tips #5: Trust the Evidence

If I could, I would grant amazing investment returns to every investor across every market. Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works. In real life, we must aim toward our financial ideals, knowing we won’t hit the bullseye every time. That’s why I recommend evidence-based investing—or investing according to our best understanding of how markets have actually delivered available returns over time, versus how we wish they would. Our “best understanding” may still be imperfect, but it sure beats ignoring reality entirely. Let’s look at why evidence-based investing based luck-based investing…

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Play It Again, Steve – Timeless Financial Tips #4: How To Manage Your Financial Behavioural Biases

There are countless external forces influencing your investment outcomes: taxes, market mood swings, breaking news, etc., etc. Today, let’s look inward, to an equally important influence: your own financial behavioural biases. When we make snap financial decisions that “feel” right but are rationally wrong, we tend to sabotage our own best interests. By recognizing these reactions as they occur, you’re more likely to stop them from ruining your financial resolve, which in turn improves your odds for better outcomes. Let’s explore some behavioural finance examples that you’ll want to prepare for…

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