Most New Year’s resolutions fall broadly into the categories of financial and physical well-being. Both health and wealth are primarily focused on long-term outcomes. There are often several different paths that can be taken in order to produce the desired outcome. Think about heart disease for example. There are numerous complicated and expensive procedures that can be involved to both diagnose and treat the disease. While genetics certainly play a part, a sizeable portion of the outcome for good heart health is determined by your own actions…how well (or poorly) you eat, sleep and exercise.
Simple or Complex
In your financial life, searching for complicated “solutions”, while avoiding the “eat, sleep and exercise” part can lead to trouble. Dare to be dull. If better long-term outcomes are what you seek, arrange your financial life accordingly. The best long-term investment strategy will rarely be the best in a given calendar year. Author William Bernstein says “Investment wisdom begins with the realization that long-term returns are the only ones that matter”.
The opposite of complex is simple and that too is a good cornerstone of financial progress. Simplify, don’t “complexify”. With few exceptions, regardless of station in life or age, the clients we see want their financial lives to be less complex. Some investors, however, think the set allocations, re-balance occasionally and ignore the media approach is too simple. They crave a more complex answer. The long-term outcomes tell the story. This brief article from YILI Chien, Senior Economist at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank , explains the differences clearly. 2015 should be a year of building towards the long-term outcomes you desire. Ready for a real conversation?