How I think about life and money
I believe that the money is a means, not an end. Money helps us achieve some of the things we want in life, no doubt. But there are other ways besides money to build a rich and satisfying life. Taking care of your physical and mental health is one way. Not keeping up with the Joneses. Seeing life as a journey, rather than a slog with retirement as an end-of-the-road reward. Learning to love “enough” over “more.”
I don’t believe in the concept of “hot” stocks. Or, in seeking short-term returns from any investment. I don’t believe in trying to “time” the market — moving investments in or out of the markets when a manager thinks things are going up or down.
My investment practices are based on a set of principles known as Modern Portfolio Theory, from Harry Markowitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1990. The central idea is that the future cannot be predicted, and neither can stock prices. The theory also says that a portfolio made up of several asset classes will see fewer price movements and volatility than more concentrated portfolios. Even though the more diversified portfolio will inevitably include some losing positions at any given time.
I believe that much of the “financial advice” people get comes from ads. They suggest, in powerful images, that happiness and fulfillment can be won by buying this thing or that. I’m trying to do something different. I help people arrive at and understand their own definition of happiness and fullfillment. That way they can decide for themselves. Does buying this house, property, car, business, or computer make sense for me?
Despite the scientific underpinnings, my investment work isn’t rocket science. Most of my clients can do this. My value is to bring all my expertise to bear on each unique situation. And, to advise and decide without emotion.
I believe that certain ideas about, and “gut reactions” to, the market and the economy are behavioral. Part of my work is to help you understand why doing the right thing for your portfolio and your future can feel so wrong in the moment. The science of investing helps us see the long-term. And to avoid incautious, emotionally driven investment decisions in the short term.