At Doyle Wealth Management, our job is ultimately to help our clients be prepared for a future that is unpredictable. That's it; it doesn't get much more complicated than that.
For us to begin this job, all involved must first acknowledge two realities:
1. Nobody can predict the future, and we don't spend any time worrying about things we can't control; and
2. All are better off focusing on what they can control and being prepared for the future.
Being prepared for the future is akin to having an emergency preparedness plan for a hurricane. This may include knowing your evacuation routes, storing excess water supplies, planning for the pets, keeping extra batteries, and establishing rendezvous locations. Having this plan will not stop a hurricane from happening, but it will alter how much you worry between now and when the hurricane does or does not arrive.
There is no sense burning brain cells trying to predict what will happen to oil prices or what the economy will do under candidate A or candidate B. Instead, get prepared.
What does being prepared financially for the future look like?
It includes the knowledge and peace of mind that:
1. We will have a sufficient and growing income stream throughout our retirement to sustain our standard of living;
2. Our estate plan is in place to provide for loved ones or organizations for which we care;
3. Our investment portfolio is designed to provide diversification, income and growth in a tax efficient manner;
4. Risks are identified and mitigated; and
5. Emotions are removed from the process and replaced with sound disciplined strategies.
Note these are all items which we can influence, plan for, and control. We believe wholeheartedly that focusing on items you can control is a better way of thinking, believing, and acting. The alternative is that both we and our clients would be led by events outside of our control and living reactive (and often stressful) lives.
Achieving financial preparedness is simple, it's just not easy - and there is a difference. Our process is not complicated. We don't profess to have a secret formula or elaborate algorithm - just time-tested and proven strategies to achieve long-term success. Simple, right? But, not so easy to follow and stick with. If it were so easy, then everyone would be financially successful and secure in their goals, and no one would panic and make the behavioral mistakes that often sink a well thought out, disciplined plan.
Unfortunately, today we live in a 24/7 news industry. Guiding clients to a confident future can be hard work if they are watching, reading, and listening to a steady stream of bad news peddled by smart, savvy communicators who are very good at getting people addicted to this bad news cocktail.
Out strategy is to stick to the truth. As stated above - nobody can predict the future, and we don't spend any time worrying about things we can't control. We then try to inoculate ourselves and our clients from this morass of negativity.
As 2015 gets underway, rather than stressing out over Iran or Russia, get your financial house in order. Address your retirement income needs, look at your estate plan, address your risks, review your portfolio, and remove your emotions from your plans and have a diversified portfolio customized to your unique needs. We can help.
Also for 2015, pledge to watch less TV news. Go to the gym more often; take long walks; try Yoga or Pilates; keep up with technology; raise money for a charity. Having a drink with your buddies over how screwed up the world is or how badly the democrats or republicans are doing is not going to do you much good. Instead, focus on what you can control. Get your financial house in order. Following these steps is simple, and we can help. Achieve that peace of mind from knowing you are prepared for the future - whatever it may bring.