* Independent, objective advice is vital to creating the
* Each person should establish and follow a customized Investment Policy Statement
* Maintaining low investment costs is important in order to reach plan goals
* Be aware of hard to notice annual fees and the cost of mutual fund operating expenses and fund's intangible cost of "trading impacts" in no-load funds that can amount to three percent per year.
* Avoid making investments that are hard to get out of (such as an annuity with a surrender charge, or a limited partnership)
* Avoid making investments in mutual funds with a "Load Fee"
* Avoid seduction and manipulation by marketplace hype and hysteria
* Do not talk to friends or coworkers about investments or economy
* Do not read the general media about economy or investments-instead read scholarly journals and books
* Avoid listening to sound bites offered by broadcast media, instead read scholarly media
* Clients need to work with an experienced, mature, dedicated fee-only financial advisor with credentials such as a CFP® certificate
* Think creatively, objectively and independently from the popular mythology of the general public
* Recognize major structural changes in the economy before others do
* Be aware of how crowd psychology brainwashes investors to make bad decisions
* There are fundamental reasons why P.E. ratios should be at or below 15 and if it is over 15 take defensive measures.
* The true history of the market is masked by inflation and by one-time non-recurring gains
* The true total return of the equities market is not nearly as good as it appears
* Investing in illiquid investments that have large minimum investment amounts produces a better return than publicly traded securities
* Avoid exotic hedge fund strategies with derivatives, instead buy something that is straightforward and clearly understood
* Investing properly requires plenty of liquidity or other staying power for emergencies-avoid selling your investments when you need to spend money.
* Investing properly requires tax planning
* Investing properly requires cutting the costs of broker's commissions, mutual fund fees, etc.
* Avoid debt-do not increase the loan balance on your home to fund other investments
* If buying a home limit your new mortgage balance to the amount offered by the most conservative lender-do not go to the most aggressive lender and get a larger loan.
* If buying investment real estate (non-owner occupied) avoid a negative (before-tax) cash flow and assume that you will be stuck with the property for seven years
* Save at least ten percent of your income
* Success in financial planning comes from saving rather than finding a miracle way to "beat the market"
* Survival is the only path to riches (so avoid excessive or hidden risk)
* Do not assume patented technology products produce profits for stockholders
* Stock options issued to employees need to be expensed to have an accurate financial statement for publicly traded securities
* Diversify your investments
* Boring investments are good/exotic ones are dubious
* Do not trade frequently, instead buy and hold
* Do not watch the market during trading hours, instead learn fundamental analysis and ponder key structural problems
Donald Martin, CFP®
1000 Fremont Ave. Ste. 260H, Los Altos, CA 94024
Telephone (650) 949-0775
This web site is intended only for general educational purposes and should not be relied up for financial planning or investment advice. To obtain financial planning or investment advice you must sign a written contract requesting financial planning services and must have a personalized one to one consultation with us to create a custom built solution for your own unique needs.