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Think Before You Invest


Something to think about before you invest, I have a friend who is a retired Investment Advisor; he once gave his opinion to people on investments. Since he is retired and not trying to sell you or anybody else anything, I asked for him to share his investment philosophy.

The two main things I would emphasize are that not one size fits all and that you need to be proactive because you have greater interest in you than anyone else ever will. Everyone’s circumstances are different, i.e., your family, their current needs, their future needs after you are gone. Are you likely to inherit assets at some point, do you need extra dollars for your retirement, are you building toward your retirement, and so on. So, it stands to reason that while growth stocks might be good for some, others may need income producing assets. Also, one’s risk tolerance is critical, not all of us are as willing to assume risk as a reward for a greater return.

To help you with that criteria and advice toward making those important decisions, it stands to reason that you need good professional advice from CPA’s, tax attorneys, and investment advisors. Most of us have the goal of leaving as much as possible to our spouse, children, charity, etc., so estate planning dovetails into investment advice. I, like most of us, look for bargain, but here it often times is wise to pay a little bit more for good advice, rather than cheap advice. The other important point that I would make is that our government, both federal and state (also some cities) are trying to get as much of your money as they possibly can. Everything you buy is taxed (sales tax, real estate tax, personal property tax, estate tax). Most states have personal income tax, so in addition to federal tax, you pay your state for interest earned, dividends received, and capital gains tax, another reason for advice.

If you have great new wealth, maybe from an inheritance, or as some people I know who think they are going to become wealthy from a certain currency swap, don’t flaunt your wealth. Keep a low profile. You are a great target for scam artists, also for trial or tort lawyers. There are some books and services that can help you if you are in or anticipate being in these circumstances. If you have new money or are beginning retirement, perhaps you should change your life style to a calmer existence. You will enjoy life more and live longer.

Do good things with your money, i.e. charity. Do it on a consistent basis, follow your heart and always remember that giving is living. Pray for guidance, but please don’t force your belief, as this can override your mindset to where you won’t recognize happiness when you see it. Be friendly, not someone who is critical of other’s lifestyle, or views. We are all free and entitled to our own opinions.

A great quote, from George Santayana, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” Over the years, we all make mistakes; those who remember the past hopefully avoid making the same mistakes over and over, notice what’s not working and change your approach, notice what is working and keep doing it, learn to recognize the difference. Above all THINK, each move or investment that you make should be a chess game, think 5 moves ahead, know your outcome and act with the end in mind. A survey found that 3% think; 12% think they think; the rest muddle thru life and fail to achieve their investment goals or life goals. 
May God bless you, but remember to THINK things thru and get GOOD ADVICE.

Lisa Christiansen

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