For most of us investing is a means to an ends – not just a hobby or the ultimate goal. We are investing
to achieve our goals, meet our needs and fulfill our wishes. As such the ultimate benchmark that we
should be using when judging our performance is our ability to maintain and enhance our lifestyle; not
some market indicator.
Too often we see people evaluating their performance versus a benchmark that has little or nothing to
do with their personal goals. At best this is a waste of time, but at worst may result in behavior that is
detrimental our ultimate purpose. If we are investing just to beat an index that is one thing – if we are
investing to maintain and enhance our lifestyle that is completely different.
The other issue is the market news and behavior is often viewed over very short periods of time;
whereas most of us are investing for the rest of our lives. Again this is not consistent with why or how
most of us invest.
Investment decisions should be based on our personal needs, objectives and risk tolerance
understanding that we cannot predict (nor do we have to) the short term moves in equity markets,
interest rates or the economy. We should have cash or cash equivalents for any near term needs and
then invest in a diversified manner for the long term. If we can maintain and/or enhance our lifestyle
then we are being successful regardless of what the markets, or even our portfolio, do in the near term.
Your financial advisor is not being paid to beat the market but to help you achieve your vision. Please
contact us with questions or whenever we may otherwise be of service. We have a wide range of tools
for assisting you with this process but the most important one is simply listening so that we help you
define and achieve your vision.