Our financial lives break down into one binary question: will your money outlive you or will you outlive your money? You get 100% of one or 100% of the other; there is no mix and match.
It is our job to help clients live their lives with dignity and independence without fear of ever outliving their money.
In investment, longer term outperformance is desirable but cannot be consistently predicted. The dominant factor in long-term, real-life financial outcomes is not ‘investment performance’; it is investor behaviour. This might sound straightforward, but evidence shows us it isn’t! There are many studies which show there is a substantial difference between investment performance and investor performance.
There are three guiding principles for investing in the great companies of the world, a belief system if you like and they are very important. You need:
- 1) Faith in the future – optimism is the only realism. You need to believe that these great businesses will continue to innovate and develop new products that people want to buy e.g. new phones, electric cars, etc.
- 2) Patience – you WILL need tolerance and restraint. The values of these great companies will test your resolve regularly with their temporary declines in value before returning to their permanent long-term upward trend.
- 3) Discipline – to keep doing the right things. One example might be to view temporary declines (e.g. the credit crunch) as a fantastic opportunity to invest more monies (if available) at ‘big sale’ prices.
Our role is to help you to make the best decisions about your investments so that you can achieve your life goals. This requires expert financial planning. Find out more here.
When it comes to your investments, there are four fundamental portfolio practice inputs that determine successful outputs. In order of importance these are:
- 1) Asset allocation The equity/bond mix determines the long-term portfolio return. For example, history shows us, for example, a 70/30 equity/bond portfolio percentage split will perform better over the long term than a 50/50 split.
- 2) Diversification Returns are in many respects random. Beware the economic forecasters and market predictors; the future can’t be consistently predicted or timed. You need to be invested in a global-wide portfolio and hold for the long-term.
- 3) Rebalancing Returning your portfolio to its target diversification on a regular basis.
- 4) Portfolio costs These need to be kept as competitive as possible (and that’s part of our job) but are not the main determinant of successful outcomes.
"Long-term investment success is almost totally a function of how one emotionally handles declines in the equity market, as opposed to how one's portfolio handles them."