Time: Your Most Important Planning Tool

Important Charities Update!

Once again, a very special thanks to those of our clients who took the time to send in suggestions regarding the charity(s) we could support on your behalf in lieu of sending out Christmas cards. The response was overwhelming. As a result – in addition to the Charities we announced before Christmas (Busby Centre and Seasons Centre for Grieving Children) Wayne decided to add THE BARRIE FOOD BANK once again. It was one of our recipients last Christmas – but among the suggestions so many made; the argument that The Barrie Food Bank, like others, had faced significant, ongoing demand and warranted additional assistance. That was completed before Christmas!

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Time is one of those daily realities that we usually take for granted. But when it comes to building wealth and managing investments, it is tremendously important. How you view, manage, and interact with "time" could deeply impact your financial success more than any other variable that you personally control.

The ability to think about the future - and emotionally relate to how present-day decisions impact distant financial successes - is an important skill to cultivate. Canadian sociologist, academic and consultant, Elliott Jacques, the originator of the concept of "just-in-time" manufacturing processes, wrote extensively about this concept - which he referred to as "cognitive complexity."

In short, this is the time horizon over which most people can effectively plan and manage their lives. The research shows that about 70% of the population can only plan and emotionally relate to a time horizon of 3 months or less. (This may partially explain why many people buy winter boots or a snow shovel only when the first snow fall occurs.)

Time is a complex subject. In the financial industry it impacts the decisions you make and how you invest your money. For example, for at least 20 years, many market commentators have been saying the US Dollar is finished as the global reserve currency. And yet, here it is, still the core instrument of the global trade settlement infrastructure.

The problem is that macro-economics has historically been an extremely poor tool for market timing or investment planning. The British Pound effectively lost its status as the global reserve currency around 1915, during WW1 but was not fully replaced as such, until the Bretton Woods Agreement some 40 years later.

Another area of concern is how your concept of "time horizon" may differ from that of your planner or investment advisor. You may think "long term" is days, weeks, or months, while a financial advisor generally thinks about "long term" planning in terms of years or decades. This mismatch in perceptions can be resolved easily with open communication. Believe me when I say – your timetables, goals, and expectations are important when we work together. Let me give you an example: Sometimes a client will approach their financial advisor and ask what kind of returns, for example, can they expect for "surplus" money from the sale of a house. They may have a plan to buy another home in a year or two. This investing time horizon is noticeably short. This is where the importance of communication between client and Advisor becomes paramount. Expectations and time horizons MUST BE MANAGED. Understanding the client’s desired outcomes, will impact your Advisor’s recommendations.

The past few years have seen a steady upward trend in many world markets as governments took quick action to stimulate their economies and blunt the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, carefully crafted commercials and ads have encouraged many people to make their own investing decision using online trading accounts. With the steady upward trend (as above) these recent experiences have led many investors to think it is easy to make money in the stock markets while their Advisors are cautioning patience as a result of their years of education, training, and experience.

In this scenario, Advisors may appear “antiquated” while investors often believe they are brilliant and infallible. As the laws of economics have not been repealed, time will tell the benefits between the "easy money" investing approach vs the "slow and steady" approach.

Different objectives lead to different timelines. Call us today for a review of your various portfolios and whether they are positioned appropriately given your time horizon.

Wishing you all much success, happiness and continuing good health for 2022!

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