March 18, 2024 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for March 18, 2024

Investing in Uncertain Times During Retirement – Election Edition

In this Episode of the Secure Your Retirement Podcast, Radon and Murs discuss the possible impact of the presidential election on your retirement investments. Political uncertainty causes increased volatility in the short term, and the idea here is to maintain security and peace of mind regarding your retirement plan.


Investing in Uncertain Times During Retirement – Election Edition

It’s that time that comes around every four years – presidential elections. There is one question that inevitably pops up: does the presidential election impact the stock market?  Retirement planning can provide peace of mind because you’ll prepare for the election’s influence on the market. 

Investing in Uncertain Times – Election Edition

It’s that time that comes around every four years – presidential elections. There is one question that inevitably pops up: does the presidential election impact the stock market? 

Retirement planning can provide peace of mind because you’ll prepare for the election’s influence on the market. 

The Short-term Effects of a Presidential Election 

Volatility in the short term is certain. You have economists and investors clamoring to figure out this one important question: if this candidate gets into office, what will their policies do to the market? News headlines are also all over the place, and these headlines and breaking news stories that happen every day will cause volatility. 

If you look back to the 1900s, we know that the election won’t impact markets in the long term. 

Where will the world be after the election year? Where will the U.S. be? Investors will be asking these questions all year, and it does weigh on the market. 

Long-term Effects of a Presidential Election 

Since 1900, data shows that in the long term, a party change does not impact the markets. We do have up and down markets across the board, regardless of who is in office or if there’s a party change. 

If we were going to wrap this up right here, we would say yes: presidential elections do affect the market in the short term. 

But we’re not going to be wrapping things up just yet. 

What Can We Do to Have a Portfolio That Is Agnostic to the Election and Economy? 

Investing in uncertain times is best when your portfolio is agnostic, meaning that the economy and election will have little-to-no impact on the performance. Of course, we’re not saying that this is the “perfect portfolio.” 

We’re going to describe to you a way that we recommend structuring your portfolio for peace of mind. 

If you were to go out and speak to 100 financial planners, you would find that there are two big camps for portfolio management: 

  1. Passive: A passive portfolio is created on the basis of risk tolerance and is adjusted once in a while as your risk tolerance changes. The market will not have much bearing on the portfolio allocation. 
  1. Active: An active manager will adjust the portfolio regularly based on the current market environment. 

Both camps will argue that either the passive or active portfolio is best. Our growth portfolio combines both camps to offer what we believe is a well-rounded portfolio that you can rely on during good and bad times in the market. 

Inside Look into Our Growth Portfolio 

Our “growth portfolio” cuts an account in half, with the first theme being the strategic core, and the second theme being the tactical portion. 

The strategic core model is equity-based, and we buy ETFs. Our theme for the strategic core is based on where the market is going in the intermediate term. The strategic core will be invested at all times and consider where the market is and where it could be going based on the fundamental analysis. 

Today, the strategic core is invested in equities that tend to do better un an economic slowdown or recession. 

But as the sentiment behind a recession continues to weaken, we plan to make a shift based on fundamental analysis.  

Our tactical side of the portfolio considers what’s working well right now: 

  • Large Cap stocks 
  • AI and Technology 

The tactical portfolio looks at what’s working right now and is more active. We might make a trade every 4 – 6 weeks based on the trend changes that we see. We find that the tactical side of the portfolio works very well to mitigate risk during times of market deterioration. 

If you go back to when the market wasn’t performing well in 2022, the tactical was invested in lower-risk assets, such as government treasuries. 

When the market is working well, the tactical is invested in equities, but when there is some pullback, we can adjust the tactical portion of the portfolio. 

Portfolios based on Risk Appetite  

If you’re in or very close to retirement, you want stability, right? You’ve worked hard and you can’t stomach the dramatic ups and downs of the market any longer. We have many folks come in and want a portion of their portfolios to provide stability that the stock market cannot provide on its own. 

For these folks, we created the “Moderate Growth Portfolio.” 

For a moderate growth portfolio, we take 24% of the portfolio and put it into structured bank notes. What we do is: 

  • Approach big banks: Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Barclays, etc. 
  • Structure an instrument based on an annual percentage coupon rate 

At the time of this article in March 2024, the coupon rate is about 9% annualized. The goal of this type of portfolio is to lower the risk even further for the portfolio to have some fixed income coming in. 

We can also reduce risks further with the addition of fixed-income investments such as bond funds. 

The idea is that the portfolio is based on fundamentals (i.e., strategic core), what’s working right now (i.e., tactical), and stability (i.e., structured notes and bonds). If you’re reaching retirement, a portfolio like this provides you with peace of mind that your retirement is secure. 

Using this type of portfolio allows us to minimize risks by not putting all your eggs in one basket. 

We try to combine tried and true strategies so that if one is not working great, the other can help support the portfolio. 

If you want to learn more about our investment strategies or how we can help you minimize risk in your portfolio, feel free to reach out to us and schedule a call. 

Buy and Hold is Dead: Why Risk Management is Fundamental in Today’s World

Buy and sell investments were all the rage just a few years ago. People would invest in a new, hot tech stock, hold on to it and reap the benefit of their shares rising drastically. Warren Buffett was a major supporter of buying and holding, and the strategy led him to being one of the richest men in the world.

We’re here to tell you that the buy and hold is dead for the individual investor thanks to risk management.

Buy and Hold’s Main Flaw for Asset Allocation and Investing

Buy and hold is ideal for institutions that have an infinite lifespan. A business that can be around for a hundred years doesn’t need to concern itself with the prospect of their stock fluctuating up and down and potentially losing 50% of its value.

These institutions can continue holding until the stock recovers, which is something that a person nearing retirement may not be able to do.

A regular individual that is investing and holding is unlikely to withstand a plummeting stock market.

Risk assessment is an option that allows investors to interpret and react to a changing market. For example, the risk assessment for the most recent market crash could have helped a lot of investors keep money in their retirement and investment portfolios.

Between 1999 and 2013, the S&P 500 was below its average until mid-2013.

Tens of millions of investors needed their money during this time. For example, a person in 1999 at 55 might have needed just average returns over the next decade to retire comfortably. But the market dipped by as much as 50%, causing the investor to put his life on hold.

Massive fluctuations in the market, even over a 10-year period, can be devastating for an investor or someone that has been growing an investment portfolio for retirement because 10 years is a long time.

Risk Management is Not Timing the Market

Risk management is about the ebb and flow of the market. When the market starts to become too risky, a risk management approach will take immediate measurements in the market to reallocate investments to help avoid massive losses.

And there are a lot of approaches that we take to determine risk, including:

  • Supply and demand balances to better understand how an investment may pan out in the short-, mid- and long-term.
  • The inner workings of a market. This helps us determine what the lows and highs are for a certain industry’s stock to pinpoint potential risks that an average investor may not realize is happening in the market.

Risk management also includes another important aspect: when to get back into the market. For example, when the market began to tank in 2006, a lot of investors sold off their stock and never really got back into the market because they didn’t have the data to properly calculate their risks.

Proper risk management can alert an investor when the market is good to enter again and when, even if it’s difficult, it’s time to offload an investment.

Risk Off and How a Risk Manager Determines When It’s Time to Reduce Risk

Risk is all based on a timeframe. In most circumstances, there’s a short and long timeframe that may indicate that it’s time to offload certain stocks. A long-term timeframe may be based on supply and demand measurements, especially internally in markets where these factors aren’t witnessed by the average investor.

Oftentimes, when markets are seeing a sway in supply and demand, it’s months after these internal factors are being recorded.

Rebalancing a portfolio to remove assets that may suffer from these factors is a good idea, and you may stay out of these markets for the long-term, which can be five, six or even ten years. Short-term factors also play a role in risk management.

A short-term indicator can help a portfolio withstand short-term fluctuations, such as those seen with COVID. Stocks fell in the first-quarter of the year but rebounded, which allowed someone considering their risk to reenter the market at the right time and reap the growth seen just a quarter or two after.

Multiple timeframes can be followed, which are tailored to a specific client and based on:

  • Declining internals
  • Supply and demand
  • Improving fundamentals

Buy and hold is a good strategy for some, but as you age, risk management needs to takeover. The risks that you can face when you’re younger shouldn’t be a part of your portfolio later on in life when you have proper risk management in place.

Risk management models can help predict a market’s direction, allowing investors to capture a market’s upside while not capturing a lot of downside.

While you’ll always capture a little upside and downside, the right data and management strategy will allow you to capture more of the upside in the market, reducing risk and generating more gains in the long-term.

If you want more information about preparing your finances for the future or retirement, check out our complimentary Master Class, ‘3 Steps to Secure Your Retirement’. 

In this class, we teach you the steps you need to take to secure your dream retirement. Get the complimentary Master Class here.