Message from Jon
Sometimes you can't see the forest through all the trees...
This past week I was down in Texas (Austin to be exact) where we had opened up an office to help service and support the University of Texas as well as St. Edwards University. While the city was nice-and so was my attempt at riding a scooter through downtown-there was an exchange with a professor who became a client that stuck with me.
We were discussing what we do, what the markets are doing, and her accounts. She interrupted me when I got on a soapbox about the volatility and how that impacts returns and so on... "I can tell you have been doing this a while, which is why I am hiring you to help me, but really, the only thing I want to know is how much I need to retire and what I have to do to get to that." I got down off my soapbox, walked her through what she needed and where she was at, which lead us to how much more she needed to contribute. When we were finished, she was relieved and "invigorated" that she now had a plan and a target to aim for going forward.
On the plane ride home, I began reflecting about how everything I do on a daily basis boiled down to a relatively simple set of questions and answers. It helped me consider what is most important to clients...and that is...will I have enough, and what must I do to get there?
Spend some time talking with current clients that have "enough" about what keeps them up at night and you may get this. I don't want to lose what we have, or I want to create a plan to pass on what we have in the most efficient way possible. Risk levels, returns, market projections, inflation, etc. are all factors that will influence decisions, but ultimately, they are not leading the discussion...or should not be leading it anyway.
An investor is going to have good weeks, months, and years where they feel like they are in the best investments, and months and years where they want to find something better. The reality is that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Your goal is to have enough in the pot to cover your needs, your wants, and your wishes when you retire. Knowing what those are is the first step of any plan.
Today, I think we are asking the wrong questions about investing. Like MPG on a car, rates of return are but very small parts of the overall answer to the basic 2-part question that everyone should be asking themselves. We should be asking what the professor asked...how much do I need, and how do I get there?
Focus on what matters most, and you will achieve all you need, want, and require with your money and your investments.
Till we speak again, enjoy your week!
PS: I have no idea what went wrong last week that cut off my thoughts but this week, I hope it is resolved.
Trade News Moves the Market
WEEKLY UPDATE - MAY 20, 2019
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks fell sharply at the start of last week over trade tensions, then recovered with help from strong earnings and indications that U.S.-China trade talks would continue. Even so, the major indices had a down week. The S&P 500 lost 0.76%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.27%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.69%.
In contrast, the MSCI EAFE benchmark for international stocks rose 0.19%.
Securities offered through Regulus Advisors, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Regal Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Regulus Advisors and Regal Investment Advisors are affiliated entities. Summit Retirement Advisors, LLC and Summit Financial Group of Indiana are affiliated entities. Summit Retirement Advisors, LLC and Summit Financial Group of Indiana are independent of Regulus Advisors and Regal Investment Advisors.