Successful Investing (while riding a roller coaster)

It’s natural human behavior in times of stress to reevaluate the current situation to find answers. This story rang true for many investors of globally diversified portfolios as the sharp declines of early 2016 caused some to examine their asset allocation and question if they were still making the right decisions. In fact, many investors follow their emotions and struggle to   separate those emotions from their investment decisions. Often, following a reactive cycle of excessive optimism and fear leads to poor decisions at the worst times.

Here is a picture of what that emotional investing cycle looks like.Investing Cycle

As professional advisors and fiduciaries of the precious resources clients have entrusted us to manage, we have answers that we feel will help our clients and those we care about have a successful investment experience. Here is what we found.

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Allen Speaks on Breadwinner Women at National Conference

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This November Sharon Allen spoke at the InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit in San Francisco, California. She shared her expertise regarding the concerns and needs of Breadwinner Women in our society. Drawing from the national research from the Family Wealth Advisor’s Council, of which Sharon is a member, she focused on the resulting data highlighting the challenges and opportunities financial advisors need to be aware of when serving these clients. “It was an honor to be asked to contribute on this very important topic,” says Allen. “Our research shows that the financial services industry needs to do a much better job in truly partnering with women.”

Sharon Allen, CFP(R), CTFA is the Co-Founder and President of Sterling Wealth Management, a fee-only wealth management firm. She has an exceptionally collaborative approach in working with her clients, and has a particular interest in the challenges facing women of wealth. Sharon has co-authored a paper on the Sandwich Generation Woman titled Caught In the Middle: How Does the Sandwich Generation Woman Not Get Squeezed?.

Holiday Conversation Starter – Family Financial DNA

multi-generation family white bkgd (standing)

What are your plans for this holiday season? Why not include some meaningful financial planning conversation while you pass the turkey?

Every family has a “Financial DNA”…a set of unique values and personality around money. These values guide life decisions that have economic impact. For example, if community is important to you, you might choose to spend $20 on diapers for the local emergency shelter instead of going out for coffee. Or if you want to see your family members hone a natural skill to excellence, you might choose to live a more simple life now to set aside financial resources for college or training for them in the future.

If you find yourself desirous of cultivating that DNA for future generations, here are some questions to spark conversation.

  • What’s important to you about money?
  • What is your definition of wealth?
  • What would you like to do for your community?
  • What do you want to do for the world at large?
  • What charitable causes tug at your heart?
  • What would your ideal weekend or vacation be?

There’s no right or wrong answer. And hopefully by starting the conversation, you will have had a chance to begin defining your family mission.

Who’s Your Financial Coach?

Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.
– Tom Landry

The value that a coach of any kind brings to your life is outside perspective. A good coach can assess a situation for opportunities and challenges and plot a course of action that will get you successfully to the goal. An excellent coach sees the heart and can lead you toward successes you may never have dreamed possible.

This is what we do for our clients.

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True Wealth

Wealth is a funny word. It evokes emotional response from nearly every person I know.

The reality is that we all possess wealth of some kind—wealth of financial resources, personal accomplishment, wealth of character, relationships, or any combination of all. A “wealth manager” should be uniquely suited to help make the most of your total wealth. I feel very strongly about that, and it drives most of what I do.

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