Spend enough time scrolling through investment articles, blogs, books and marketing materials, and you’ll inevitably realize that very bright, talented investment professionals have radically different ideas about what is the “best” approach. Most investment writers seem to be in search of what is the “best” investment or the “best” philosophy. This is a deeply flawed paradigm and causes endless problems — if you start with the wrong question you’ll never find the right answer.
Any investment professional worth his or her salt will begin with “what is the best investment approach for you?” Just as a great spouse for one person will be an awful spouse for another, a great investment for one person will be an awful investment for another. Many consider risk tolerance and time horizon to be the cornerstone of investment decisions — what sort of risk are you comfortable with and how long before you need your money? This is well-known, if not so deeply thought about.
More important things that deserve thought and consideration are an individual’s personality, beliefs and past experience. Just as the best diet is the one you can stick with, the best investment plan is one that the investor can stick to. Even a high-risk investor shouldn’t be in a volatile vehicle if they have the self-awareness to recognize they may change horses at the wrong time and lock in losses. Moreover, there are intangible, emotional factors — for example, will an oncologist feel OK about making money off Phillip-Morris stock?
There’s a great deal of science to investing, but there is also a great deal of art. It’s important to find an advisor who can guide you toward the best holistic plan for you.
Written by Jeffrey Hackney
Investment advisory services offered through AE Wealth Management, LLC.
Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation.