By: Chris Kelly
With the seemingly infinite amount of information available at the fingertips of individual investors – from financial websites, to mobile investment apps, to investment do-it-yourself media personalities (and the list goes on and on) – some investors may begin to question why professional advisors are necessary.
Our answer to those investors is simple: You can’t be a successful steward of your own money by simply coming home from work, reading the Wall Street Journal, and catching up on evening episodes of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money. It’s just not that easy. The stakes are too high, and the odds against your long-term success are too great for you to gamble away what you’ve worked so hard to accrue.
BWFA’s advisors commonly find that individuals seek our investment management expertise, and, ultimately, decide to work with us, for one or more of the following three reasons:
1. OUR DEFINED PROCESS FOR MANAGING MONEY
2. INVESTMENT CONSISTENCY
3. REALIZATION THAT IT DOES NOT PAY TO GO IT ALONE
We believe that if you are unable to describe your investment process, then chances are that you don’t know what you are doing.
Our approach for managing the assets of our valued clients consists of a defined investment process. We live by two guiding principles: maintain diversification throughout our client portfolios, and avoid buying overvalued assets. To achieve our goals, we perform in-depth reviews of a company’s valuation metrics, look at outside technical analysis, and consider a wide range of additional quantitative and qualitative attributes about every potential investment.
Our approach is all about consistency. We strive to maintain realistic expectations, while acknowledging that asset returns are earned over various market conditions and cycles.
We consider past performance as a guide – not a predictor of future returns, and we don’t invest in a specific asset or strategy just because “everyone else is doing it.” Additionally, we believe that attempting to forecast an asset’s success or failure in the short term is a losing proposition.
Don’t Go It Alone
Similar to a cynic, who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing, most individual investors who decide to go it alone eventually come to realize the costly price of their decision.
Behavioral studies have showed universally that individual investors let their emotions override their logic. Legendary investor Warren Buffett once said investors should “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” Although this seems to be fairly straightforward advice, it is rarely followed by individuals investing on their own. Quite often, otherwise rational individuals get caught up in the whirlwind of headline news, causing them to make irrational and detrimental decisions.
Global financial markets are filled with all sorts of obscure and difficult to understand risks. We’ve seen unusual events occur over and over again. These risks make the need for objective advice paramount, so that investors can have strategies in place to reduce the impact of unexpected events.
A Team Approach
At BWFA we have a team of professionals, including CPAs, CFPs, and a CFA, who deliver comprehensive and objective investment advice for our clients. Please contact a BWFA professional or stop by our office if you’d like to discuss your investment portfolio in further detail.