We have been talking to a lot of clients about ethical and impact investing lately. Opportunities to align investment dollars with personal values have become more available as investor demand has increased. It is now possible to effectively make investments that focus on the environment, sustainability, workplace disparities, or gender equality. In fact, from 2014 to 2016 these types of investments grew by more than 33%. The desire to align personal values with spending dollars has already been demonstrated in consumer spending, as 66% of consumers now saying they’re willing to pay more for sustainable goods (a 55% increase from 2014). [i] People are not only buying with the environment in mind, but they are also investing in companies that promote social themes as well.
For investors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets. The right financial advisor can play a vital role in keeping you focused on what really matters. Watch this informative video from Dimensional Fund Advisors to learn more about the value that a financial advisor can bring to your investment experience.
An important aspect of the Flourish investment philosophy is to help our clients find the right portfolio for them. We use a variety of tools to help clients identify their risk tolerance, then match that up with their long-term financial goals to build a customized investment solution.
The following article by Dave Goetsch, Executive Producer of “The Big Bang Theory”, provides helpful perspective about the importance of staying focused on long-term goals instead of reacting to short-term market movements. This is an important concept to connect with because big market changes can affect us emotionally and psychologically. Mr. Goetsch does a nice job of summarizing his connection with market performance without using investment jargon.
If we’ve been doing our job as your fiduciary advisor, you might already be able to guess what our take is on current market news:
Unless your personal goals have changed, stay the course according to your personal plan.
Still, it never hurts to repeat this steadfast advice during periodic market downturns. We understand that thinking about scary markets isn’t the same as experiencing them. For context, US stocks haven’t seen a one-day pullback of 5% since June 2006, when the S&P 500 Index was at 1,260 compared to its February 2018 level of 2,800. It’s also important to note that US equities are down 1% for 2018 despite the losses over the past couple of days and have risen 17% from a year ago.
So, what’s going on? Why did U.S. stock prices suddenly drop after over 13 consecutive months of positive returns, with no obvious calamity to have set off the alarms?
Flourish Wealth Management takes a proactive approach to investing that looks at historical performance information to understand the most effective ways to help our clients achieve their long-term investment goals. We look at years of academic research which are summarized nicely in the following article. This is an important topic because our investment process is truly integrated with our wealth management services to emphasize portfolio return consistency, lower costs, and improved tax efficiency through long-term decisions. We avoid investing in the market sector of the moment or the investment that is a “hot pick” in favor of evidence-based investing. Hopefully, you enjoy some of the market insights in the following article!