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!