C.S. Lewis once said, “I believe in Christianity like I believe in the sun: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Lewis’s point was this: his most fundamental beliefs were not something he could prove. Rather, he understood his beliefs were the lens through which he viewed the world. Like a pair of glasses providing him with 20/20 vision, this lens helped Lewis make sense of the world around him. This symbolic “lens” is often referred to as a “worldview”, which you have, even if you’ve never identified it.
But why does that matter? Why should you care to identify your worldview? Because perception is everything. You will view the world differently depending on which pair of glasses you wear. One pair may improve your eyesight while another may make everything blurry.
When it comes to investing, it’s important to identify your (or your advisor’s) investment worldview, or philosophy. Why? Beliefs about markets and economics influence investment decisions and, more importantly, the results that follow.
Consider the law of gravity, which intimates to us that jumping form high places isn’t great for our health. But what if you believed in zero-gravity? What if you believe 3+3=7, and someone hires you to build a bridge? These examples elucidate the point: beliefs have consequences. And even more importantly, false beliefs have bad consequences.
Likewise, an investor who believes following past performance is a good idea (i.e. buying when prices are high and selling when prices are low) is not likely to find success investing. In fact, buying high and selling low is a horrible investment strategy even when implemented by a “professional”. As Mark Twain once said, “It isn’t what you know that gets you into trouble, its what you know for sure that just isn’t so.”
A Unique Approach
Grounded in our investment philosophy, our disciplined investment process is designed to help you achieve your stated objective; whether your goal is an immediate and sustainable stream of income, long term capital appreciation, or something else. For over thirty years our process has provided consistent results with an extremely high probability of success.
But before we discuss specific needs or investments, we often ask a few simple questions:
- Has your current advisor ever shared what he believes about investing?
- Do your advisor’s belief’s about markets and economics make sense of your experience?
- Have your advisor’s decisions been consistent with what he says he believes?
Any advisor can reference Greek letters or complex technical indicators, but falling markets often lead those without well-defined principles to embrace wrong-headed conviction (e.g. “stay the course”) or emotional appeals (e.g. “get out while you can”). In this sense, many advisors lose track of client objectives and end up reacting to the market instead of confidently leading their clients through tumultuous times.
At Plan Financial, however, we make it a point to share our investment principles and then periodically bring them to bear upon current market conditions. Doing so establishes trust and a mutual understanding of the “why” behind the “what” of our investment decisions. Do these principles make sense? Do these principles align with yours? These are the questions you should ask as you evaluate both our investment philosophy and our investment process.
Your road to retirement or other important goals requires an investment process that will get you to your destination. Utilizing customized, objective-based portfolios, Plan Financial can help you get there. If you agree with our investment philosophy and you would like to see how our disciplined process can help you accomplish your goals, we welcome you to discover the Plan Financial difference.