January 2, 2012

Four Lessons Learned About Investing and Clients in 2011

It's been said that lessons well learned are lessons well remembered. With this in mind, I'd like to share a few lessons I've learned this past year.

Lesson One: Selecting Funds
I've found that I can usually pick good quality mutual funds and ETFs with the aid of the Fiduciary Scorecard I've created. I frequently find the "chosen" funds on the recommended lists of a number of firms. There are also many funds on these lists which do not score terribly well on my scorecard. To each his own, I suppose. 

Lesson Two: The Timing Issue
What I also noticed is that I need to be more cognizant of the point at which I get into or out of a fund. I don't want to give you the impression that I trade funds because I do not. But I do make changes at times, and when I do, I need to be assured that the decision turns out to be a good one. What I'm simply trying to avoid is a scenario whereby I buy into a fund just before it goes south. I suppose using high quality funds with good management will help, but I do try and minimize the downside as much as possible. 

Lesson Three: Client Communication
Sometimes I feel like the Maytag repairman of the TV commercials of years past. His product was so good that nobody ever called. While I have no illusions that my product is that good, the lack of calls may indicate a high level of trust from my clients. Even so, I intend to become more proactive with client contact in 2012 through a variety of methods to let my clients know that I'm "on the job." I also plan to record a series of videos and post them on my website for clients to read. Maybe a quarterly, or midyear recap on the global economy and markets. 

Lesson Four: Getting Organized
In the past, I was an organizational fiend. I read all the "how to" books, attended educational seminars, and did anything else which might help me to become more efficient. Then, for some unknown reason, a few years ago I just stopped. While it's important to be efficient, perhaps at times you miss life along the way. I plan to find a happy medium here. 

What are your plans for 2012? What lessons have you learned along the way?

 Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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