Relationships exist between two or more people, but we also develop relationships with things. My wife would suggest I have a tumultuous relationship with my golf game. Others may find themselves in relationships with investments statements. How we mentally frame and manage these relationships needs to adapt to dramatically different parameters.
Barbara and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage this year. Not only is regular reflection of that journey acceptable, but also necessary. Not everyday is a bed of roses, but the journey has been rewarding and fulfilling. Reliving the purchases of our homes, vacations taken, things explored and memories of two daughters being brought into the world are just a portion of our history.
The inevitable question arises when we meet new people. “How did you meet?” When people recognize the number of years many of our team members have invested at FEG, the question is the same, “How did you find each other?” This is a natural question, and though very predictable, always makes me chuckle.
A similar question comes to the forefront when we meet with a new family to discuss their financial situation. “How did you meet your previous advisor? How did you ‘meet’ that particular investment?” These are questions you should be asking yourself.
Managing the relationship with my wife is entirely different from how I should be managing the relationship with my investments. Over the 25 years of producing a radio show, I often remarked that I married my wife, but only date my stocks.
People and even things come into our lives for a reason, a season, and a very precious few for life. Hopefully, your marriage, if you have been so fortunate, is for life. Long-term relationships necessitate reflection of past joy and celebration. That is where gratitude is generated in the present.
The same strategy should not apply to an outdated golf club, tax strategy or investment. What got you here will not necessarily get you there! For instance, our Roth Recharacterization strategy helped families direct over $60 million in accounts that will never be taxed again. We are very proud of that, but the tax rules have changed, and new strategies are required.
The most problematic financial challenge is with advisors (go ahead and look in the mirror, as this includes you providing your own investment decisions) and long-term investment holdings. What Barbara has done for me over the last 35 years matters today and tomorrow. What a particular stock did ten years ago can serve as a mental anchor preventing future financial success. Some “break-ups” are necessary.
Studies show that a major pitfall in asset management is holding on to positions too long. The old school of thought of buying and holding onto a stock sounds right, but often wrong. A well-regarded book, “The Millionaire Next Door,” argues financial success comes from long-term holdings – and the author was accurate. He failed, however, to account for survival-ship bias. His studies failed to address the individual performance of stocks that failed to produce millionaires! Remember, future financial success requires that we don’t fall in love with our investments; we only date them.
Financial Enhancement Group is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through World Equity Group, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be provided by Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.