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The 2020 IA25: Liz Ann Sonders

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Liz Ann Sonders is chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, where she’s worked for 20 years.

Her style is to keep it simple, something she learned while appearing regularly on “Wall $treet Week.” She has over 110,000 Twitter followers.

Top Advice

Even under “normal” circumstances, trying to pinpoint market tops or bottoms is a difficult — if not futile — exercise. The virus-related uncertainties suggest even greater futility. But long-term investment success never requires that.

Disciplines around diversified strategic asset allocation and periodic rebalancing are key in this environment — with the periodicity of rebalancing perhaps driven less by calendar-based timing, and more by asset class movement-based timing.

Taking the impact of more frequent adjustments on issues like tax implications, investors who can tolerate more frequent adjustments based on heightened volatility might consider the benefits to performance.

In general, rebalancing does two important things: It forces us to do what we know we’re supposed to, which is “buy (or add) low and sell (or trim) high.”

It also allows our portfolios to tell us when it’s time to make adjustments — we don’t have to worry about timing peaks or troughs.

This ties to my long-held belief that investing should always be a process over time — never about gambling on moments in time.

Biggest Challenge

Being in a hopefully-temporary suspension from business travel — and with market volatility remaining high and the news and data constantly changing — trying to separate work time from leisure time has been more difficult.

I often have to think twice to remember the day of the week. While trying to drink from the fire hose of information coming at all of us, I need to try harder to put some distance between work weeks and weekends.