Asking the right questions: Q&A with a San Diego money manager
By Scott Kyle, Chief Investment Officer at Coastwise Capital Group
As a professional San Diego money manager I am often asked the question, “How do you think the market will do in the next few months?” (Insert days, weeks, or whatever other short-term time frame you want). While this certainly is an interesting question, and one many financial pundits attempt to answer daily for their enamored audience, I would argue that it is the wrong way to learn about smart investments. The following questions may not be as exciting as those concerning the latest dire headlines or the meaning of hundred point swings in the Dow – but they do highlight issues that merit a good portion of your investing-related time.
Do my investments match my time horizon? The number one rule in investing (and one that many investors break) is to ensure you are invested in the right asset class for your end goal. Need money to pay for a fancy dinner next week? Cash is the place to be. Have a goal of being sufficiently wealthy in 15 years to enjoy a blissful retirement? Cash could be your enemy as it loses money after inflation and taxes each year. In this case, equities and other long-term investments can serve you well. Make sure your investments are consistent with the time frame when you will need the money back. Thinking ahead in this manner will help you avoid the vast majority of errors investors make in their financial program.
Am I properly diversified? Are you sitting on the next Enron, General Motors or Citi Group — a purportedly indestructible company that saw its stock decline 90% or more in a matter of months? Don’t let those rare but periodic stock blow-ups cause permanent damage to your financial picture. Diversify across industries, market caps, and geographical regions.
Do I have time to manage my own portfolio or should I hire a professional? I could only imagine the results I would get if I tried to be a part-time surgeon or attorney. Yet many investors believe that they can do it themselves when it comes to investing. This often leads to frustration, time spent away from family, and inferior returns. Ask yourself if you might be better served to work with a professional who can relieve you of the day-to-day stresses often associated with investing.
Just because news is in your face does not mean it is relevant. Don’t let the headlines run your life: make sure you are asking the right questions when it comes to your hard earned money. To learn more or set up a personalized Q&A, contact us today: www.coastwisegroup.com.
The information in this article is strictly for educational and illustrative purposes and is not an attempt to furnish personalized investment advice or services.
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