We believe that properly implementing your retirement Investment strategy is the single most critical factor in a secure financial future. Therefore, investors should focus primarily on the things that you control and can change. JP Morgan has an excellent diagram illustrating this point.
- Out of Your Control – Capital markets go up. Capital markets go down. Public policies (tax, savings, entitlements) are in a constant state of flux. That is the nature of the beast. Therefore, investors should just factor these realities into their retirement strategies, rather than shaping investment strategies to target specific scenarios that are almost guaranteed to change.
- Some Control – Investors do have more control over other elements of their retirement. For instance, we recommend spending serious thought understanding the genuine tradeoffs between high pay/high burn out jobs and lower pay/longer career options. The age-old Aesop Fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare” is applicable in these decisions. Also, when you retire is a major factor in determining the financial resources required to retire successfully. But these important factors aren’t always in your control, and can be driven by other factors, such as the economy and healthcare considerations.
- Total Control – Where investors have the most control over building retirement wealth is in their personal spending & saving decisions and investment risk taking. Simple decisions, such as buying a $3 cup of coffee daily add up (we calculate this to be $35,000- 40,000 over 20 years). If that is the value of a cup of coffee, think of the difference people can make by looking at their mortgage payments, cars, education decisions differently! In addition, investors with a long-term investment horizon are almost always better off making thoughtful investment risk/reward tradeoffs.