We live in an ever-changing, global investment landscape — and yet, the stock market and U.S. economy seem to go through the same cycles over and over. With each era, new investment trends surface. Often complicated and difficult for investors to understand, these “latest and greatest” investment offerings tend to fade away. Plus, no matter which way you turn, you’ll likely find an “expert” enticing you to try to time the market or chase performance. The noise can be overwhelming.
What Can You Do?
Tune out the noise and focus on what matters — you and your long-term financial goals. Before you hire an investment manager, make sure you consider and understand their “Four Ps” giving equal weight to each.
- People: Call or visit the firm’s office. Get a feel for their culture and be sure to ask how long the portfolio managers have worked there — longevity can be a good sign.
- Philosophy: Can the investment managers clearly explain their philosophy within one minute?
- Process: Make sure their investment process is detailed, yet straightforward and understandable.
- Performance: Unfortunately, many investors look at performance as the most important factor. Past performance is no guarantee of future results so it’s crucial to evaluate all Four Ps equally.