Buy High, Sell Low
Your investments have not been performing so well. Despite the lackluster performance, your financial advisor continues to purchase additional shares with any free cash. Meanwhile, everyone is talking about how great Amazon stock is performing and you can’t help but wonder what is wrong with your advisor. You could not be more right. Buying high and selling low is really fundamental to investing wisely. Get rid of the losers and buy what’s doing the best. If a stock or fund is selling at record highs, you need to get in on the action so you can make the big money.
Go to Cash
When it looks like the end of the world is coming, it probably is. The world has ended several times in the last three decades, and we all need to be prepared. Perhaps the opposite party is taking the white house or congress, trade wars and terrorism are escalating or there is just too much change on the horizon. You no longer have the resolve to stay invested in the market. And why would you?! Get out while you can. There is no better time to act on your gut instincts and let that fear rule your decisions. Go to cash. Put it under your mattress. It might be kind of lumpy, but at least you will not lose sleep over the markets again.
You Can’t Take It with You
So many people spend lots of time putting together financial plans and retirement budgets but to what end?! The truth is you cannot take the money with you when you die. It would make much more sense to spend every dollar enjoying your retirement and let the chips fall where they may if you outlive your expectations. After all, you’ve worked hard your whole life; it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Sit down and do a good estimate on your life expectancy, take the total value of your portfolio and divide it by the number of years you have left. You now have your annual budget! Surely your children will take you in when you run out of money. And if all else fails, that is what Medicaid is for right?!
Uproot Your Life: Florida or Bust!
The only certainties in life are death and taxes and you should do everything in your power to avoid both! If you live in a state with high taxes, get out! Put your house on the market tomorrow and head to Florida, Nevada, Mississippi or Louisiana. Can’t handle the heat? No problem! Alaska, Wyoming and South Dakota are solid choices too. Say goodbye to your family and be sure to talk up their exciting new vacation destination! You are retired now and the last thing you need is to be paying astronomical taxes. There is nothing more important than minimizing your tax liability…. after all, you can always Facetime the grandkids!
Collect, Collect, Collect!
You can start collecting Social Security at 62, so why on earth would you wait? You have been paying in to the system, and you should get your hands on that money before the system completely disappears. Of course, the government has structured the payments to increase over time; clearly, they are trying to trick you into leaving that money on the table for several years. If there is one thing more certain than death and taxes, it is that you should never trust a government program.
Put All Your Eggs in that Basket
You’ve been working at your company since you graduated college. It is a solid company that handsomely rewards its employees with great salaries, bonuses, and company stock. Your family has been well provided for with your salary, and you expect that your retirement will be well funded with your 401K (all funded with company stock), as well as the shares you have accumulated over time. Your friend, a financial advisor, has been pushing you to diversify your investments but why? You are a good and loyal employee and have great confidence in the company that has invested so much in you. What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely nothing! All big, well-run companies with storied histories can rely on their futures to be as strong as their pasts, right?
There’s no better time to DIY
You’ve just retired and find that you have a lot of time on your hands. You’ve always been a curious and intelligent person and are continuously looking to learn new things and expand your horizons. You’ve been interviewing financial planners and your son wonders one day why you wouldn’t just do it yourself and save the fee. And why wouldn’t you do just that? You’re retired; there is no better time to Do It Yourself! What value does a financial planner really add after all? Never mind the extensive and ongoing training a Certified Financial Planner TM and other professionals endure. Surely you can likely get all the tips you need just by watching CNBC or attending cocktail parties. In fact, while you’re at it, you should probably check out WebMD for whatever ails you and save on those copays!
As a child, I got such pleasure from uttering that phrase, and we decided to have a little fun with it this first of April. The truth is, however, that these are real concerns and sentiments that we come up against frequently in financial planning. Getting caught up in the hype, the panic, and the fear is normal. It also speaks volumes as to the value of a good financial planner who helps to take emotion out of money management and safeguard your future. For honest-to-goodness financial tips, reverse everything you read above or check out our previous blogs.
Happy April Fool’s Day!