During times of financial panic in the markets, sometimes you might wonder: "How's my financial planner or portfolio manager investing their own money? Do they eat their own cooking or hypocritically do something entirely different?"
Every investor has different needs, financial goals, time frames, and risk tolerance. So obviously you wouldn't expect the portfolio of a 32 year old single teacher to be the same as a 53 year old small business owner or a 76 year old retiree with a disabled spouse.
I'm a 57 year old advisor with my own financial planning and tax practices. We own our home, have no debt (other than revolving credit cards), live well below our means, and if health permits I hope to work in some capacity into my late 70s or early 80s.
So my goals and time frame and risk capacity are not the same as yours. Nonetheless, there should always be a certain consistency between what I say to clients and how I invest their portfolios compared with how I invest my own.
Here's my household's current investment breakdown. I say current because I make tactical shifts rather than set-and-forget allocations. Please note: this is not an investment recommendation for readers and these allocations may change at any time.
|Cash & equivalents||50%|
|Small/micro cap stocks||3%|
|Emerging markets stocks/funds||1%|
|Precious metals funds||18%|
What's similar to most of my discretionary management clients?
- A lot of "dry powder" in cash to protect capital and have stable resources for buying good investments at good prices (hopefully bargain prices).
- Significant allocation to precious metals. Most client households have around 10% invested in precious metals, some more, some less.
- Allocation to energy stocks/funds. Most client households have less currently allocated to energy than I do. Timing on the December purchase was unfortunate. (Who could have known that Saudi Arabia and Russia would get into a wrestling match over market share, resulting in monumental drop in oil prices and hammering energy investments?)
What's different from my all my clients (discretionary management and non-discretionary consulting)?
- I tend not to own bonds as much, unless it's short-term or there's a strategic undervaluation opportunity.
- Also, I tactically speculate, in some cases with extremely volatile positions that most of my retired clients wouldn't want or be willing to tolerate or be appropriate for their situation.
What's on the horizon that I'm monitoring?
I continue to monitor the landscape for opportunities to put our cash to work buying good investments at reasonable prices (hopefully bargain prices). This has been the fastest bear market in history and, while markets move in fits and starts, I suspect the bear is probably not done yet. So rather than get fixated on certain positions or sectors, I'm looking broadly for opportunities both short-term and longer-term.
Both clients and I are ready if there's a back-the-truck-up opportunity to buy. But it's easy to buy too early and then see that investment temporarily take a further dive. The flip side is if you wait too long, the bus can leave without you.
That can be potentially mitigated by monitoring for a sustained investment trend or investing in bite-size chunks at different levels knowing you'll never perfectly time things.
If stress in the markets is causing you concern about your portfolio or broader financial picture, feel free to reach out.