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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the keys to being a successful long-term investor?
Perhaps the real key here is defining the term “successful.” Because our clients typically have anywhere from 35% to 75% of their portfolios invested in diversified stocks, it makes sense that an expected long-term rate of return will fall somewhere between what a portfolio kept in the bank would return and what a portfolio invested entirely in stocks would produce. So in this case “successful” means achieving a return within this range, skewed one way or another, depending on your particular asset allocation, which is determined by your individual circumstances.
What do you think of the stock market? Where's it headed?
*Source, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Matrix Book 2015
By working with a professional, shouldn't we expect to beat the market?
How much do you charge and why?
The fee structure is this way to eliminate conflicts of interest. By charging a fee based on assets under management, you can be certain that we have a vested interest in seeing your account grow as this is the only way that our fee income will increase. Responsible financial planning and investing is complicated enough without you having to wonder why your advisor might be recommending one product over another and whether or not this action is truly in your best interests. So we charge a fee that is easy to understand and calculate, and that puts both you as client, and us as advisor, on the same team always.
What's so great about diversification?
With a diversified portfolio, a long-term time horizon, and a generous dose of patience, as an investor you will be rewarded. If your portfolio should fall on hard times because the economy is suffering, time will heal it and you will succeed. However, even with a long-term time horizon, and plenty of patience, there is no guarantee that any specific company’s stock will deliver the returns your investment plan needs.
In the exception to every rule category, there are some tricky tax rules (and opportunities) with respect to company stock in 401(k) plans, so before you do anything please make sure you have a qualified tax professional explain your options.
What do you think about timing the market?
When you factor in the costs of constant buying and selling, this further reduces your odds of “beating the market.” The seductive part is very real in that almost everyone seems to know or have heard of someone who got rich in the market somehow. For every winner whom you’ve heard about, doesn’t it stand to reason there is a loser? A strategy that relies on timing the market, no matter where your information comes from, much more closely resembles gambling than investing. Be careful, or better yet, don’t do it at all!