If you have a ton of money to invest, there are all kinds of companies that want to talk to you. On investment websites, you’ll see offers from a company that wants to give you its best investment plan if you have a portfolio of $500,000 (I’m talking about you, Ken Fisher.) And anyone who watches golf tournaments on television (hurrah for Sergio Garcia, both for turning into an adult and winning the Masters) sees investment firms battle with luxury car makers for the eyes (and portfolios) of the golf-watching demographic, which skews older and wealthier.
What you never see, either on television or online, is anyone vying for the dollars of the smaller investor. The closest you’ll come is ads for online brokers who are competing for transaction fees. But even they are always making offers and adding incentives for you to increase your portfolio balance.
Everybody wants high-ticket investors, which can leave those with more modest portfolios starved for choices about investment options and advice. And believe me, recent survey data indicates that smaller investors need all the help they can get.
A recent poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates says that around 21% of Americans aren’t saving any of their income. Zero. And only a quarter of them are saving more than 10%, which is down from 28% in 2016.
And according to the Insured Retirement Institute, only 55% of Baby Boomers have any money saved for retirement. And even though about a quarter of Boomers can expect some kind of income from an employer-provided pension, that leaves way too many people with only Social Security to support them in retirement.
My solution to this problem is that you hire yourself a portfolio manager: yourself.
Best Investment Plan Starts with You
Think of the advantages. Unlike a financial advisor, who now has no obligation to invest your money for your benefit alone, you can probably trust yourself to look out for your interests.
Also, while mutual funds come with management fees and tie themselves to benchmarks that limit the potential upside of your investment, you are free to pursue whatever strategy you feel is consistent with your risk tolerance. And you charge yourself nothing.
Lastly, and perhaps most important, turning your money over to other people to manage is a virtual guarantee that your money will always be fully invested in the market, even during back-breaking market corrections like the one in 2008.
You, on the other hand, are free to pull your equity exposure back to zero if you want, minimizing your risk from the safety of a money market or stable value fund while the market storms and rages.
You can also, if you want, expand the range of your investments beyond the index funds that are the default setting for so many 401(k) and IRA investors.
Like the couples that you see on television in helmets and goggles, taking charge of their own home renovation, you can put sweat equity into your own portfolio. The best investment plan is one in which you call shots.
Of course, it never hurts to have a little extra help, and that’s where Cabot Wealth comes in. We specialize in recommending specific stocks and building portfolios of investments in growth, value, income stocks and small caps. No matter what your preferred investing style, we can help. But you will be making the final decisions, and nobody looks out for your own financial well-being like you do. We’re here to help.
Timothy Lutts heads one of America’s most respected independent investment advisory services. Each week, Tim personally picks the single best stock in his exclusive Cabot Stock of the Week advisory. Build your wealth and reduce your risk with the top stock each week for current market conditionsLearn More