Investment planning doesn’t have to be complicated

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Special to the Recorder

Historically, we, as financial advisors work in a left-brained industry while we communicate with right-brained clients. In other words, regrettably, far too many advisors place unnecessary weight on charts, graphs, statistics and data rather than providing clients with what they want: a broader framework and context while creating compelling clarity with analogies, metaphors, and stories.

I have argued for 32-plus years that investors and advisors over-complicate the investment process and their ultimate strategy. I have always been an advocate of doing the following basics right.

  • Living below our means and saving on a regular basis through all types of market conditions. Yes, even when there is blood in the streets and the doomsayers are hyperventilating! History has proven repeatedly that some of the best times to invest are when there is panic in the air.
  • Quit trying to keeping up with the Joneses, as one will likely become as poor as the Joneses! The primary reason why most people have financial problems is not low earnings. The reason is a lack of self-discipline and inability to delay gratifications. It comes down to the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. We all have the choice. Obviously, there are exceptions to most things in life, and I understand that some people get into financial trouble when it did not involve lack of discipline. I steadfastly argue, however, that one’s financial mess is often the result of undisciplined behavior. 
  • Keep expenses low, reduce liabilities and diligently build a base of solid assets.
  • “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for slow and steady won the race!” We all know the story about the tortoise and the hare. I am the tortoise, and I suggest you be as well. I argue that an unskilled but diligent, reliable and persistent person will eventually overtake the talented, but unconcerned, inconsistent, complacent person. 
  • Don’t listen to the gypsies with crystal balls, soothsayers wearing wizard hats, palm readers and stock market pundits with sketchy records of accomplishment. All this chatter is noise that is trying to get us to deviate from our long-term game plan. Don’t fall for it!
  • Don’t invest emotionally. Every emotional decision I have ever made was a disaster. Develop a long-term game plan and stick to it. 

Let’s not forget that often in the real world, it’s not the smart that get ahead, but the bold. Therefore, let’s always remain courageous and steadfast with our investment strategy during good times and bad.

Harry Pappas Jr. CFP®
Managing Director-Investments
Master of Science Degree Personal Financial Planning
Certified Estate & Trust Specialist ™
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™
Pappas Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
818 North Highway A1A, Ste 200
Ponte Vedra, Florida 32082
904-273-7955
harry.pappas@wellsfargoadvisors.com
The use of the CDFA™ designation does not permit Wells Fargo Advisors or its Financial Advisors to provide legal advice, nor is it meant to imply that the firm or its associates are acting as experts in this field.
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a Registered Broker-Dealer and a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and are subject to change. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.

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