In professional sports, generally, whichever team is best at playing the strategy part of the game is usually the eventual winner. The same is true of successful long-term investing. To the untrained observer, investing might seem to be about trying to find the next Google or Amazon (i.e., finding the next hot growth stock of its day) or timing the next big market move. But seasoned investors understand that successful long-term investing is much more focused on developing the ability to reduce risk and limit the downside. Understanding that means you have to give up on the idea that you’re going to uncover a couple hot stocks, or that you have the ability to more accurately time the short term moves in the market than everyone else.
Instead, you develop a core set of beliefs that guide your decision making & you hone your analysis skills (just like an athlete practices their sport) until you are an expert.
First and foremost, it is vital that before you just jump into putting money into any investment vehicle, whether it is a common stock, a mutual fund, or an income oriented asset, you have to have a plan. It sounds like common sense really. I mean in everyday life no one would even dare start any kind of significant task, whether you’re taking a cross country trip, a vacation to another country, or just putting together your daughter’s swing set – which speaking from experience can be a VERY daunting task – without a PLAN!
But every day, many people “invest” their hard earned money in stuff they know virtually nothing about, without even the faintest thought of developing a strategy for that investment. Does anybody really know exactly what Bitcoin actually is? I doubt even the inventor – if there actually was an inventor – can even tell you completely. But yet, it seems to be the next “hot thing” that people are happy to brag about making money in. I’m sorry, but if that describes your style of managing your own money, you’re not “investing”, you’re “speculating”. It’s the financial equivalent of going to Vegas.
To be successful over the long term with your investments, you must have a plan. The development of that plan starts with the honest assessment of how much risk you are willing to take to try and achieve the growth you want, or need, in order to make all your financial goals a reality. You could develop this plan on your own, but my suggestion is to seek out the help of a competent professional to help you build this roadmap for your future. It’s very important to have someone who can help you decide what the most important goals are, and they can also act as a sounding board to make sure the goals, and by extension, the plan is reasonable and likely achievable without excessive risk.
How YHB Wealth Helps
YHB Wealth offers a broad range of personalized financial planning and consulting services to help you take control of your financial future. We start with a comprehensive evaluation of your current and future financial state so you can be confident you will meet your financial goals and objectives. At the conclusion of our evaluation you will receive a written report providing a detailed financial plan. Because we look at your whole financial situation the report may include non-securities advice on topics like tax and budgetary planning, estate planning and business planning.
About the Author
Randy has more than 15 years of experience managing financial assets for individuals, retirement plans and businesses. Randy joined YHB | Wealth Advisors in January of 2018 and serves as the Director of Wealth Management. Prior to entering the professional wealth management field, he enjoyed building entrepreneurial business ventures from start-up to eventual sale and providing accounting services for public and private firms.