The Light asked some financial advisers around town for their No. 1 tip for fiscal fitness in 2011. Here’s what they suggested.
A.J. Gupta, UBS Financial Services, Inc.:
This is a great time to take an authentic look at your financial situation and ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I happy with my financial situation?
- Do I have written goals and objectives?
- Do I have an updated comprehensive financial plan?
- Should I review my estate plan given the recent tax changes?
- When was the last time I audited all the titling of assets and beneficiary designations to make sure that everything was set up to respect my wishes?
- Does my investment strategy reflect my objectives and tolerance to risk?
- When was the last time my financial adviser, CPA and estate attorney reviewed my financial situation together?
- Do I understand the fees I am paying?
- Am I overextended with leverage?
- What are successful investors in my situation doing that I am not?
If you are not happy with the answers you gave yourself, schedule a comprehensive financial review with a wealth adviser.
CIMA, senior vice president-Investments, wealth adviser, heads up the San Diego County wealth management teams for UBS, one of the world’s leading wealth management firms.
Arthur Q. Johnson, A.Q. Johnson & Co.:
In the classic text, "The Intelligent Investor," Benjamin Graham wrote, “Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike.” Investing in common stock or a corporate bond represents an ownership interest in or claim against a business enterprise. If an investor seeks to make profits from the purchase and sale of securities, he or she is embarking on a investment operation that not only requires they know as much about the business enterprise as possible, but that it provide for a reasonable profit based on arithmetic not optimism nor speculation.
Mr. Graham concludes in the final chapter of his book, “You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right.”
CFA, is president and chief investment officer of A.Q. Johnson & Co., Inc., a registered investment advisory firm in La Jolla.
Scott Kyle, Coastwise Capital Group
: The end of the year is a time of reflection — often filled with many emotions as you reminisce over the year past. But when it comes to investing, leave your emotions at the door along with the mistletoe.
My advice to be financially fit in 2011 is to invest with the left side of your brain. It’s all too easy to get caught up in a feeding frenzy (I’m not talking about seconds on the pecan pie) and buy the newest ‘hot’ stock … after its price has jumped 20 percent. It’s just as common for your portfolio to get dragged down in the panic — when everyone is selling and then you decide to join the crowd. Don’t let your emotions drive you. Remember your goals, think rationally and act accordingly.
is CEO and chief investment officer of La Jolla-based Coastwise Capital Group, an independent money management firm.