Thank you for your interest in The Planners Network.
We know that you have worked hard for your money, and have sacrificed some of your lifestyle choices in order to build your savings. Planning for retirement is among one of your top priorities. By law, we can’t provide a specific or guaranteed investment return, but we will always make the best effort to educate you so that you can maximize your return within your risk profile.
While nobody can time the market or find winning investments all the time. Diversification in various investment asset classes (such as U.S. and international equities, bonds, real estate, and alternative instruments) is a very prudent form of investing for long-term growth. We don’t advocate short term investing, so you won’t find information about day trading or other ‘make a quick buck’ schemes.
We’re extraordinarily careful about evaluating investments, doing so only after extensive research and making sure they fit the profile for both risk and diversification. The best performing investments are not always the most well-known, and often don’t get much press until after they begin rising in value. If you invest during or after the growth curve, you risk higher volatility. Chasing the highest performing investments guarantees high volatility and often leads to missed expectations and losses. A balanced and sane financial plan involves calculating the appropriate tolerance to risk and sticking with investments that fit that tolerance.
The Planners Network will help you design and apply a well thought-out and successful Financial Plan:
Define Achievable and Realistic Goals
You will work out the range of assets you will need to retire. Many people just pick a number out of thin air after doing a bit of reading on the web or while talking to friends or colleagues. We provide the tools for you to accurately calculate your post retirement income and expenses year by year, along with how much you need to save. You can then modify your goal to support your post-retirement lifestyle wishes.
Determine Risk Tolerance
Risk depends on many factors. Your age, the asset class, your level of diversity, and even your political orientation. At a basic level we all know that less risk means lower returns, however we go well beyond that to help you calculate your risk profile so that you don’t invest too conservatively and lose out on potential returns.
Account for Interests & Ethics
Ethical investing means that you want to invest in assets that match your interests and ethical standards, while avoiding investments in companies or organizations that go against your beliefs or ethical standards. There is always room in everyone’s financial plan to invest in assets that match their interests. If you love fly-fishing, and know the best manufacturer that happens to be publicly traded, by all means invest in that stock as a portion of one of your asset classes. With so many boomers retiring, it’s bound to be a solid investment and you’ll be proud to own the stock and promote it to your friends.
Planning the correct level of diversification amongst your investments is critical to managing risk, especially as you reach retirement age. We help you identify the major asset classes, and educate you as to how risky they are and how well they perform year over year. You will choose the percentage of your portfolio to invest in each class, and how that will change over time. This is one of the most important steps in financial planning as it will impact how much of a return you can make on your investments.
Choose your Investments
Once you have gone through the above steps, you will identify what investments to purchase in each asset class. Do this by yourself, with friends/collegues or work with a financial planner. Just as collaboration and peer-review helps with performing quality work, it can be of tremendous help when trying to choose investments that match your Risk/Ethics/Diversification choices. Financial Planners do this for a living, so are well suited to this task.
Execute the Plan
Once you have worked through the above steps, you will be ready to put your investment plan into action. Some of that will be easy, such as selling current assets and reinvesting in new equities. Other tasks may be much more time intensive, such as investing in real-estate or other alternative asset classes. Many folks don’t save enough, so this is also the time that you may have to tighten your belt and put more money aside. A few years down the road when you are enjoying a comfortable retirement, you will thank yourself for going through this process.
Adjust your Portfolio on a Quarterly Bbasis
We could label this 6.1 instead of 6 as it essentially means “continue to execute”. You can’t rest on your laurels and keep an asset if all the signs point to it performing poorly in the future. Your investment portfolio needs to be periodically researched and rebalanced to keep on the right track toward retirement. This process also serves to minimize volatility since has been demonstrated time and time again that investing in last season’s winners yields this season’s losers. Once per quarter, you should re-evaluate your investments and determine if they are still a good choice going forward. This step never ends, and will continue through your retirement years.
Whether you are exceeding or falling short of your goals, you now have the tools to make informed financial planning decisions that will help you enjoy a comfortable retirement.
We welcome constructive feedback, so please feel free to contact us.