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4 Questions to Improve Investment Outcomes

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

In our last article, we took a look at how stress can affect investment decision making. In many cases, stress causes individuals to make decisions that lead to poor outcomes.

Monopoly board's Chance spot and dice. Are your financial decisions based on information or chance?
Information vs. instinct.

The next time you plan to make an investment decision, ask yourself the following four questions:

1. Am I relying on information or instinct? If information, is the data set at least ten years old?

When it comes to investing, many people believe they have a “knack” for choosing good investments. But what exactly is that “knack” based on?

The fact is, the choices we make with our assets can be strongly influenced by factors – many of them emotional – that we may not even be aware of. A better approach is relying on at least ten years or more of history for a specific asset class. This history can help you understand the expected return and risk of an investment.

2. Does this investment fit your risk tolerance?

In other words, if you mortgage the house to buy $200k of Shiba Inu coin, what will you tell your spouse when your crypto drops in value to $20,000? Financial disagreements are the biggest reason for divorce.

Investment decisions should be based on your written goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Make sure you fully appreciate the fluctuation in value of your holdings. Most people have no clue until it’s too late. Oh, and discuss that crypto investment with your financial advisor and your significant other before you bet the farm.

3. What’s the track record of this investment? What happened to this asset during the past three financial crises?

You’ve heard the whispers, the “next greatest thing” is out there, and you can get on board, but only if you hurry. Sound familiar?

The prospect of being on the ground floor of the next big thing can be thrilling. But while there really are great new opportunities out there once in a while, those “hot new investments” can often go south quickly. Jumping on board without all the information can be a mistake.

A disciplined investor may turn away from spur-of-the-moment trends and seek out solid, proven investments with consistent returns.

4. What is your financial goal? Is it time bound and measurable?

Investing to meet your financial goals involves taking a quantifiable amount of risk. Be sure to understand that risk in terms of dollars before you invest. And, ask your trusted financial advisor how long you may need to hold a specific portfolio to recover any losses.

By keeping your written financial goals in mind as you weigh both the potential gain and potential loss, you may be able to better assess what risks you are prepared to take.

Final thought.

Do you have written financial goals? Is stress causing you to re-think your investment strategy? Are there significant changes happening in your life?

Peak Wealth Planning meets with clients in Champaign and Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Colorado near Denver, Winter Park, and Fraser.

If you have a net worth over $2 million and need help from a wealth manager, the Peak Wealth Planning team can assist you.

Peak Wealth Planning specializes in helping high-net worth individuals and families plan for the future.

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About the Author

Peter Newman is a Chartered Financial Advisor (CFA) and president of Peak Wealth Planning. He works with individuals nationwide that have accumulated wealth through company stock, ESOP shares, real estate, or running a business. Peter applies his unique background to help clients achieve their specific goals and enjoy peace of mind.

Peak Wealth Planning provides concierge services to meet your wealth management needs. Services include: financial planning, investment management, esop diversification, retirement income, insurance, and estate planning advice. Peak Wealth Planning is a fee-based financial advisor based in Champaign, Illinois, and Fraser, Colorado.


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