Investing Peace of Mind: 20 Must-Answer Questions
What is investing peace of mind? It’s the confidence and security of knowing you can live the lifestyle you desire and also retire. If you’ve reached a point in your life where you want to get serious about your retirement, you may have a number of financial worries and concerns. Maybe you don’t feel knowledgeable enough about your options. Perhaps you’re nervous to make any significant investment decisions. It may even seem like you lack any real control over your own money.
There’s good news, though. You can regain confidence in your investment outlook and chart a clearer course. It all starts with knowing what to ask and where to find the answers. Use the following 20 questions to uncover your path toward true peace of mind as you grow your investment portfolio.
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Philosophy of Investing
1. Have you discovered your True Purpose for MoneyTM, something which is more important than money itself?
There’s an inherently personal dimension to wealth, and it varies based on individual values and principles. By identifying your true purpose for money, you’re poised to develop a wealth plan that actually brings satisfaction and happiness.
2. Have you defined your Investment Philosophy?
The average investor often makes investment decisions based on fear and other emotions, which can significantly inhibit long-term financial plans. By devising a sound investment philosophy, you have a foundation for making more objective investment decisions that can lead to financial growth in the future.
3. Have you identified your personal risk tolerance?
All investing comes with varying amounts of risk, so it’s vital to identify your own risk tolerance. To have peace of mind where your money is concerned, a financial coach can help you understand how to choose investments that match your personal risk tolerance.
4. Do you know how to measure diversification in your portfolio?
Since no one can predict the future, investing your money among a globally diversified portfolio is a sensible strategy. With the tools and knowledge to accurately assess your portfolio’s level of diversification, you have the opportunity to enhance it.
5. Are you working with a financial coach versus a financial planner?
A financial coach can help you wade through complex investment issues and maintain long-term discipline around the investing process. A coach doesn’t just develop a financial plan, but rather works with you to improve your financial perspective and behaviors.
6. Do you fully understand diversification in your portfolio?
Diversification is a word thrown around carelessly in the investing industry. Although many use the term and say they do it, not everyone’s definition of real diversification is the same.
7. Do you know the 3 warning signs that you may be speculating with your money versus prudently investing it?
It is not unusual for investors or even money managers to divert their initial course of investing due to short-term market conditions or investing trends. Giving in to some of these active management pitfalls can drastically reduce the long-term success of your portfolio.
8. Can you identify the cultural messages and personal mindsets about money that can destroy your investing peace of mind?
Simple awareness of outside influences and personal emotions when it comes to financial and investing matters can make the difference between good and bad investment decisions. It can also help quiet the personal anxieties surrounding your financial future.
9. Are you ready to shift your personal experience with money and investing from scarcity to abundance, so you can live your life rather than obsess about your assets?
When you don’t have investing peace of mind, it can impede your ability to accomplish your most meaningful life goals and dreams. You have an opportunity to stop wasting your precious time fraught with stress, anxiety, concern and fear over your financial wellbeing.
Checklist for Investing Success
10. Are you invested in the Market?
Investing in the stock market is one of the most effective ways to build long-term wealth. The stock market is historically proven to increase returns over time, and it’s a valuable way to both compound your interest and protect your worth from the reality of inflation.
11. Do you know how financial markets work?
In order to invest wisely, it’s essential to understand the relationship between risk and return as well as how markets function. Otherwise, you’re not fully equipped to make prudent long-term decisions about strategies to achieve your financial goals.
12. Do you consistently and predictably achieve market returns?
At the end of the day, you want to know that your money is where it’s supposed to be and doing what it’s supposed to do. If your investment outcomes don’t match your predictions and plans over the course of time, there’s work to be done.
13. Have you measured the total amount of commissions and costs in your portfolio?
The decisions you make regarding the selection and management of your investment portfolio directly affect your potential return. It’s necessary to uncover all of the associated fees and expenses so there are no surprises down the road.
14. Do you know where you fall on the Markowitz Efficient Frontier?
According to the Markowitz theory, there’s an optimal portfolio that could be designed with a perfect balance between risk and return. Knowing where you fall in relation to this standard is important to making investment decisions that create peace of mind.
15. When it comes to building your investment portfolio, do you know exactly what you are doing and why?
You should know that the way a portfolio is engineered is a critical component for success. What goes into the portfolio and in what specific percentages has a profound impact on its likelihood of long-term success.
16. Do you have a customized, lifelong game plan to guide all of your investing and spending decisions?
Uncertainty, fear or impulse should never guide your investment and spending behaviors. With the proper strategies and a plan customized to your individual goals, you can begin achieving a level of confidence about your financial future that you never knew possible.
17. Do you have an Investment Policy Statement?
There should be no misunderstanding between you and your investment manager(s) about the guidelines and intentions surrounding your investment plan. A structured, written Investment Policy Statement helps cultivate clarity and discipline throughout the journey.
18. Have you devised a clear method for measuring the success or failure of your portfolio?
You must develop a precise way of evaluating whether your portfolio is being properly executed. The only true measure of a portfolio’s success is real results over time.
19. Do you have a system to measure portfolio volatility?
Financial markets can change at a moment’s notice. Whether global political concerns or updated forecasts, there are many factors that can cause sudden movement in the markets. You need a way to analyze this volatility within your portfolio.
20. Are you aware of the costs associated with purchasing commission-based products?
Over time, the costs attached to commissioned-based products can really add up and eat away at your investment return. Make sure you understand the impact of these fees from the outset so you can design your portfolio accordingly.
Say “Yes” to Peace of Mind
These 20 questions help you build the foundation you need for financial freedom. By knowing the answers to each and every one of them, you position yourself to gain confidence in your own financial future. If you find that you don’t know the answers to these questions you can seek expert guidance to turn things around. There’s no reason to stay mired in the investor’s dilemma.
To find out more about overcoming your investing concerns and finally shifting your direction toward true peace of mind, get your free copy of the Investor Awareness Guide
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About Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA
Greg Hammond is the chief executive officer of Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors, and co-founder of Planned Giving Strategies®. Greg leads a team of professional financial advisors providing customized wealth management and investment solutions for high-net-worth individuals, families, companies, and charitable organizations across the U.S.