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What Is Your One Word?

posted on

January 10, 2014

To plan a journey, first you must know where you are going. Likewise, when planning your financial future, you must know what you want to achieve in your long-term vision. Only then can you chart your path.

Unfortunately, financial advisors do not have a crystal ball. Neither do investors. Sure, they may get lucky and predict something from time to time, but it has been proven that this cannot be sustained over the long term. 

If financial advisors and investors alike do not have a crystal ball, what is the next best thing that they can have to achieve long-term success? Vision – without it people perish. When it comes to vision in investments, we are talking about a philosophy, a strategy, and a way to invest on purpose. This vision is not based on the latest news, the media hype, the next big thing, the expert’s predictions, etc. It is based on the science of investing. It is based on facts. For us at DHGWA, it is a clear investment philosophy based on scientific evidence, Modern Portfolio Theory which focuses on asset allocation and diversification. It is based on “fee-only compensation” relationships being built on “trust.” It is an approach that helps clients “invest on purpose.”

Investing on purpose requires focus and concentration. How do you and I focus? One way is to have a vision that is compelling enough that our lens is focused on that vision. Our eyes are fixed on the prize and we are not sidetracked on our journey, which is full of great times and not so great times. We all know that markets go up and markets go down. Another way to focus is that we have to eliminate distractions. This applies not only to investing but also to other areas of our lives. What are the distractions that get us off course from exercising, learning a new skill, becoming the man or woman we want to become? 

Several advisors of DHGWA recently had the privilege of meeting Mike Ashcraft, the author of “My One Word.” The premise of the book is that you can change your life with just one word. Many times people come up with a long list of New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of each year. Too often a few days or weeks into their pursuit to change these people with great intentions actually abandon these resolutions and quit, frustrated and discouraged. It has been said it is better to do something on one thing than nothing on many things. Mike shared with us how this simple act of choosing one word will force clarity and help concentrate efforts. He shared story after story of people’s lives being changed, impacted, and improved. 

So this New Year’s instead of coming up with a long list of resolutions and “many things to focus on,” why not choose “one word” to focus on and let that be the lens that you look through this upcoming year. 

Who do you want to become this year? What could be your one word for the year? Only you can decide your “one word.” How about some of these? Purpose? Focus? Discipline? Joy? Moment? Finish? Trust? Love? Run? Patience? Gratitude? Celebrate? 

When it comes to investing, it is important to have a simple approach also that forces clarity and helps concentrate efforts. Since you don’t have a crystal ball and neither does your financial advisor, what is the next best thing you can have? A long-term vision! What is your one word for your pursuit of long term investment success? Could it be “Purpose?” Could it be “Discipline?” Could it be “Efficient?” 

Our goal is to help clients invest on purpose. Our goal is to help clients maintain discipline. Our goal is to structure portfolios that are cost efficient and tax efficient. Keeping costs and taxes low are important for our clients. 

Remember - Change is possible, but focus is required. Wishing you much success in your pursuit this year!