Reinvigorate Your Financial Life With Laser Focus on Market Risk and Shortfall Risk

Reinvigorate Your Financial Life With Laser Focus on Market Risk and Shortfall Risk

The financial world is noisy and it’s easy to become distracted from your most important long-term goals.
 

One way to cut through the noise is to focus on just the two factors that ultimately determine your approach to everything else in your financial life; namely, Market Risk and Shortfall Risk. Market Risk is the inherent risk of investing in the market; Shortfall Risk is the risk of failing to accomplish your goals.

We routinely see clients who suffer the effects of “market stress”. In many respects, this is self-imposed worry resulting from a misunderstanding of how capital markets function. Since financial literacy is largely untaught, this lack of understanding is not surprising. Part of our role, of course, is to help clients remain goals focused instead of market focused.

However, since we are all emotional beings, we sometimes see clients react emotionally to market changes. This can set us up the proverbial “horns of a dilemma”, between these two very distinctive types of risk. Without a willingness to accept some level of Market Risk the larger and potentially more problematic Shortfall Risk come into play.

Stay on Course
 

The dilemma presents itself very clearly. If you cannot accept the normal price changes in the markets, then you likely will find yourself decreasing one type of risk (market risk) and exchanging this for the other type of risk (shortfall risk).

The average intra-year price decline in the S&P 500 is over 14% for the calendar years dating back to 1980. In about 75% of those years, the S&P 500 had a positive year overall. You have to be able to stay on plan (in the market), in order to reap the benefits (the returns). The stress comes from believing that this tradeoff can be avoided; it can’t.

There absolutely are individuals who for various reasons can’t fully reconcile this dilemma. This point should not be downplayed...if you can’t accept the risk, don’t invest in the stock market. You will likely need to adjust your lifestyle and future plans, but that is a financial planning choice.

James E. Wilson
Advisor
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James founded South Carolina’s first fee-only financial planning firm in 1982 and is a pioneer in the financial planning field. He has advised hundreds of successful individ ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!


1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge


Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising


The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor


Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client


How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?


According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources


I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps


Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation


Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?


The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?


Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals


Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
Perspective
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio