Are you interested in what something is called or what something does? This is an important question when it comes to investing.
Imagine the following scenario: A person goes to a financial services professional for advice. During their discussion, they share a large amount of information. They state what their goals are. They say what their risk tolerance is. They talk about their past, current and reasonably projected future cash flow, based on their income and investments.
The financial services professional collects all this data and either alone, or with particular specialists, analyzes it. After all this is done the professional meets with this individual, who might be a current client or a prospective client, to lay out a plan.
The plan may suggest certain vehicles so that this person might accomplish their goals. The plan is based on the information they have shared. Assuming that a good level of trust exists between the professional and the client/prospective client, you might think that the plan will be adopted and acted upon immediately. After all, the longer an individual waits to have a reasonable investment plan, taking into consideration future and present goals, retirement and unexpected events like illness, the sooner that individual will be protected.
It is interesting to note, however, that sometimes people are put off by the name of a particular product that might be suggested as part of an investment and or retirement plan. For example, they might say, “I don’t like investment product X.” After a bit of dialogue, it becomes clear they do not like “X” because they recall “reading an article once” or “hearing someone say something about it” or “seeing something on television.” This can be unfortunate.
Particularly in the age of the Internet, many people have become affected by a term I believe I am inventing for this blog post, hearsayitis. Hearsayitis is when someone hears something or reads something and then gets it stuck in their head that that thing is good or bad. Certainly, this does not follow a logical process. Reading up on something can be a good strategy, yet is important to read deeply and consider the sources you are reading from.
People will often claim to “go with their gut” when making a decision. Again, how good is that approach if a logical top to bottom review of the facts is ignored. We would like to think we are logical decision makers when it comes to investing and planning for the future. Unfortunately, sometimes, as human beings, logic goes out the window and we rely on something we once heard.
What is the antidote for making financial plans based on raw emotion rather than sound, sure footed reason? The list I am about to provide is not comprehensive; however, I would, at least, suggest the following:
- Work with a financial services professional you trust.
- Consider how this financial services professional might have performed for you in the past, while keeping in mind that past performance does not guarantee future success.
- Gain a strong understanding of the risks involved in any plan you might want to follow or investment you might want to make.
- Consider whether or not you are willing to follow through on a plan. If not, why not?
- Do not get hung up on a name. At times we have preconceived notions about something that defies the logic of cold hard facts.
- Look at what something does, not simply what it is called.
As I stated above, the list I gave is not comprehensive and it does not guarantee success. However, I believe it might be helpful. Remember, carefully create a well-reasoned plan. Then, take action.
Scott McGimpsey April 19th, 2016
This material was prepared by Scott McGimpsey and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Neither Summit Brokerage Services Inc. nor Scott McGimpsey is engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professionally services. If such assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal, state, or municipal tax penalty. Moreover, a diversified portfolio does not assure a profit or assure protection against loss in a declining market. UNIFIED PLANNING GROUP is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC