Spending More Time on Things You Enjoy

Now that I have two daughters under the age of 3, I don’t get out to the golf course very often.  Let’s just say there have not been a plethora of great shots recently.  As I was reflecting on one of my recent rounds, I began to think about my priorities and how that relates to how I spend my time.  If playing golf was more of a priority for me currently, I would play more and likely be more consistent with my shot-making, thus resulting in lower scores over time.  I would be spending time perfecting the process.  Luckily, the lack of attention I have been giving my golf game doesn’t have a negative impact on other, more important areas of my life.

Think of your own life and where your priorities lie.  Do you have a process you follow for certain things you enjoy?  Is one of those things regularly researching and rebalancing your 401k, or are there more important things you would rather spend time doing?  Unfortunately, a lack of attention to your financial life can have lasting consequences.  If you are finding that this is something that keeps falling down on your priority list, it may be time to seek help.

Improving Your Process

We spend a lot of time developing and improving our process.  Whether it is improving our systems to be more efficient or discovering new models that help us spot mis-pricings in the markets.  We believe to have an effective investment strategy, you need to have a defined process.

  • Our process begins with discipline in managing our emotions. Countless studies have shown how emotions can make you sell when stock prices have fallen and miss out after stock prices have increased, resulting in underperformance over time.  Managing these instincts takes tremendous discipline.
  • Our investment process is also research intensive.  You first have to determine the factors you’ll use to make investment decisions but also regularly research those factors to spot opportunities and risks.
  • We are also diligent about implementing a schedule for regular reviews.  Are there changes that need to be made to an asset class?  Has your asset allocation shifted drastically from your targets?  How has your portfolio performed over a full market cycle compared to the last six months and is this an effective strategy?

Furthermore, we use the same process to manage our own financial situations that we do for our clients.  This is because we trust and believe in our process which has demonstrated proven results over multiple market cycles.  Click Here if you would like to receive our free whitepaper on “Keys to a Successful Investment Strategy.”

About the author

Chad Smith, CFP®

Chad Smith is a partner and adviser with Financial Symmetry a fee-only financial planning firm in Raleigh, NC. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and has been helping clients for 15 years. He enjoys helping people do more things they enjoy. He is a contributor to Money Magazine and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Planning Magazine, Triangle Business Journal, and Investment News. He is also an active member of NAPFA, the Financial Planning Association and FPA’s NexGen.

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