We have decades of experience working with families to help navigate their financial challenges across generations. These ideas represent some of the best lessons we've learned:
Good advice may not be cheap, but bad advice will always cost you dearly no matter how little you pay
Sound financial advice can be worth many times more than the associated cost. Much more than just buying a hot stock, comprehensive advice involves shaping your financial behavior and preventing a big mistake.
Don't dictate to the market, listen to the market
Sometimes market prices change in ways we do not understand. We should resist the temptation to tell the market that it is 'wrong'; market prices reflect the combined views of millions of investors and are usually quite accurate. It is important to invest for the market environment you are in, not for the one that 'should be'.
Boring is beautiful: quality stocks and bonds can satisfy your financial goals
It is tempting to chase hot tips or new products in the effort to get rich quickly. Oftentimes these alluring investments are Siren's songs that lead you to a financial shipwreck. We suggest getting rich slowly by owning quality investments that stand the test of time.
Time in the market is far more important than timing the market.
It may be tempting to jump in and out at the right time, but long term returns show that staying invested is almost always your best course.
There is always a reason not to invest
It may seem like the current investment landscape is riddled with land mines - political risk, the Fed, unstable foreign markets, etc. The truth is there is always some type of risk overhanging the market. The vast majority of them do not have a lasting negative influence however. There is no perfect or risk-less time to invest.
Bull markets begin in fear, grow in pessimism, mature in optimism, and end in euphoria
Sir John Templeton's famous quote describes how investor sentiment can be a contrary indicator as to the upcoming direction of the stock market. It is normal for many people to be nervous while there are still lots of gains ahead; it is when the skies seem 'all clear' that savvy investors should be worried.
No one has consistently made money betting against America since 1776
Here we will quote from Warren Buffet's annual letter to shareholders: “Our country’s dynamism and resiliency have repeatedly made fools of naysayers." (2003) "Though the path has not been smooth, our economic system has worked extraordinarily well over time. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it will continue to do so. America’s best days lie ahead" (2008).
Business equity is the best wealth generator known to man
Scan the Forbes top 400 list; nearly everyone on that list achieved his or her wealth by owning a piece of a great business for a long time. You have a similar opportunity when investing in the stock market; you have the opportunity to buy a small ownership stake in some of the best companies in the world.