Where do you see yourself in 20 years? No, I’m not kidding. Advancements in medicine have folks living much longer lives. Close your eyes (after you finish the paragraph). What is it that you (want to) see yourself doing in 5, 10, 15, and 20 years from now? Is it a trip to another country, a cruise, moving closer to family? Retiring? Fund a grandchild’s education? Be honest. Now, what will your assets and income allow you to do? Maybe all of it, maybe none of it. What we here at American Retirement Advisors try to do, is to incorporate as much of your dream as possible into your plan. We also understand that you don’t want to run out of income before you run out of time.

The stock market today, depending on if your speaking with a bull or a bear, is either pumped up and will be forever, or it is going to crash. I say, it’s not that simple. The market is, by nature, cyclical. It ebbs and flows with market “tides” so to speak. We are stretching the common flow by a couple of years now. As you look at the ups and downs as a wavy line, we are at the crest now. A six year old can complete the pattern with a downward stroke of a crayon. Our clients, for the most part, can’t afford to lose any assets. They are in the income phase of life, not the growth (take more risk) phase. Invest for return and safety, not aggressively. This doesn’t mean that a percentage of your portfolio shouldn’t be in the market. It should for most people. But, it should be invested cautiously and with a portfolio manager who will watch it. Some folks like mutual funds because they come with built-in portfolio managers. The problem is that the fees
are just too high. Even if you are using a no-load fund, there are internal fees. One of my issues with them is that the fund portfolio manager doesn’t know you. He or she is trying to make a name for him or herself. Portfolio managers with mutual funds become rock stars on the financial circuit. The problem is that they can have a great year then a terrible year. Our portfolio managers aren’t trying to gain fame. They are just trying to give our clients a reasonable return with as little risk as possible and as low a fee as possible.

In other words, Mutual Fund managers have the bottom line in mind