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.
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.
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…
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.
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…
Whenever you try to buy low or sell high, who is the force on the other side of the trading table? It’s the market. The market includes millions of individuals, institutions, banks, and brokerages trading hundreds of billions of dollars every moment of every day. It includes highly paid analysts continuously watching every move the markets make. It includes AI-driven engines seeking to get their trades in nanoseconds ahead of everyone else. And you think you can beat that? We believe it’s far more reasonable to assume, by the time you’ve heard the news, the collective market has too, and has already priced it in.
Have you been reading the headlines, viewing your investment portfolio, and assuming the worst is yet to come? Welcome to your painful crash course on what market risk really looks like—and more importantly, how it feels. Most investors say they’re ok living with periodic market risk, as long as it helps them achieve better returns over the long run. We accept (in theory) that tolerating the interim damage done to our own investment portfolios will help us meet our long-term financial goals. But that’s investment risk in theory. Since it’s been a long time since we’ve encountered an extended bear market climate, you may have forgotten or never known the reality of it. It may not have clicked then, when significant market declines happen, it is usually due to despairingly bad news … amplified by headlines screaming how things are only going to get worse from here. The reality is, when we’re in the middle of a storm of stuff, our behavioural biases make it very difficult to believe we’ll ever see better days.
Chasing Investment Performance Results in Far More Losers than Winners Would you like to improve your investment game? Counterintuitively, you don’t necessarily need to master more fancy moves; it may be a more powerful play to simply reduce your biggest investment mistakes. It’s those false moves that usually cost you the most gained ground.
Most of us are asking important questions about this geopolitical crisis. By no means do our financial concerns detract from the greater, human toll. That said, if I can help you remain resolute as the world justifiably severs Russia’s access to capital markets and the global economy, perhaps we can both do our part to restore justice in Ukraine. So, let’s talk about geopolitics and investing during wartime. Here are my key takeaways:
Most investors understand or perhaps accept the fact that they are not able to time stock markets (sell out before they go down or buy in before they advance). The simple rationale is that stock markets are forward looking by anticipating or “pricing in” future expectations. While the screaming negative headlines may capture attention, stock markets are looking out to what may happen well into the future. It is easy to understand why we might be scared about the recent headline inflation numbers and concerned about rising interest. It is very important to keep this in context, which is what we will address today.