Dear Mr. Market:
Apologies in advance for our clickbait headline. We usually aim to talk financial shop in our letters to you…but today is not about the stock market. Today, July 4th, is about independence, freedom, and the greatest nation on earth….the United States of America.
Lately the news headlines have been on an absolute overload of division and finger pointing. Truth be told..we’re absolutely tired and fed up with it. Watching and reading almost all sources of media simply takes its toll on you whether you realize it or not. As it relates to finance it has forced the untrained and emotional investor to make poor decisions. To every person who said I’m 100% out or in the stock market because of [insert political name/party]…you’re part of the problem. Holding this mindset is not using your brain as one may initially think but rather allowing another side of emotion and bias to drive your decision making process.
My Portfolio Guide, LLC is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor…not a political machine. While we may have our biases and opinions on certain matters, we aim to stick to what we do best…personal wealth management. Keying in on the word “personal” connects us to each client in a different way. We fully realize that there are some who are passionately liberal just as there are some who are passionately conservative. That said, today should be one where instead of focusing on the “red wave” or “blue wave”…we admire a flag that has both red and blue together.
Today we also want to touch on two other aspects of “independence”; financial independence! We, at My Portfolio Guide, are truly grateful to actually be independent. Call this a shameless plug but it’s as true as it gets and we never take for granted that we answer to nobody but our valued clients. Unlike so many other financial advisors who are essentially influenced or controlled by a bank, insurance company, or brokerage firm, we are 100% independent. Working with us allows you complete peace of mind that you’re getting advice based solely on what’s right for you and your goals and not by commissions or sales goals. Ask your current financial advisor to write down on paper if they make a commission or receive any incentives based on how you are invested.
Here’s a quick example: Do you like Vanguard? We do too! Although we custody assets at TD Ameritrade Institutional we often will use Vanguard indexes (or other instruments) for a client. Imagine asking your Charles Schwab or Fidelity advisor to recommend a Vanguard product. How would your Merrill Lynch or Wells Fargo investment advisor react if you asked to invest in a Morgan Stanley or UBS product? (they would likely cough up on the lush mahogany desk that you’re silently overpaying for).
The other piece of financial independence we want to touch on is YOURS! We’re often tasked with how a family can get to the point where they retire and no longer rely on a paycheck. In some cases the answer is easy and you have saved to the point where it’s simply a matter of protecting the assets and making sure nobody outlasts them. More often than not though…we have to provide people a plan and the disciplined strategy to literally choose a date (or make necessary adjustments) to maintain a certain lifestyle in retirement. The greatest reward we see is watching an investor or family being able to live like they dreamed of without worrying about the stock market or where their next paycheck is coming from. True financial independence is absolutely liberating and makes all the choices and decisions leading up to it worthwhile.
Now back to the matter at hand and our regularly scheduled programming…
Can we all agree on one thing today? How about we start by taking a step back and truly appreciating the freedoms we all have to even hold differing opinions? The United States of America is like no other nation on earth. If you haven’t traveled the world or your only litmus test is a television….you are uniformed on just how blessed and fortunate we are. There are of course many other wonderful countries and parts to this planet but what we have here as Americans is special and unique.
We’ll never forget one horrific day on September 11, 2001 where shortly thereafter our nation came together and people temporarily put their political differences on hold. In our opinion it shouldn’t take another tragedy like that to be able to connect or feel patriotic. Let’s use today as one where we all agree how blessed we are to be living in this amazing country. Just like any nation we have things to improve on and fix but we have more to soak up and be grateful for than any other place on earth. Today is about independence, freedom, and truly being appreciative of it. Let’s use this day to reflect, gather, enjoy, celebrate, and appreciate the amazing freedom we all enjoy.
Happy Independence Day!