Realize That…You Just Don’t Know
Having invested other people’s money for more than 30 years and studied other managers doing the same, it is clear to me that the markets cannot be beaten. They can only be used to achieve your own personal objectives.
Unfortunately, many advisors truly focus on their own short-term needs by promising (or implying) they are smarter than the average bear. Maybe they are, but I’ve yet to find a single money manager who can consistently beat the markets after considering the level of risk they take on. And I’ve found a lot who perform very poorly but are somehow able to convince their clients they are doing great.
A Better Approach
Where I’ve found much greater success is by constructing well-diversified portfolios with the goal of weathering the inevitable market downturns that come. We gauge how we think our portfolio will perform in future crashes by looking at how it performed in previous crashes. Then we ask ourselves a very important question.
Can I mentally and emotionally survive such a drop in the future?
In other words, will I continue with my strategy even when my portfolio is down, and the news is telling me the end of the world is near? Our confidence that the portfolio will come back is from being widely diversified. I’m talking about owning 10,000 companies around the world with no single company being anywhere near 1% of our portfolio. With such a portfolio, the idea of “losing it all” disappears in all but the most Armageddon-like scenarios.
…They Just Don’t Know!
So, when you hear “experts” saying that you should put a lot of your money in a particular investment or that you should absolutely avoid a particular investment, realize that they just don’t know.