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 (March 20 - 24)

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week (March 20 - 24)

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, March 20 - 24, 2017 


Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!



1. Facing a Massive Menu of ETFs? 4 Steps for Smart Choices


In the world of ETFs, advisors face a similar challenge. Simply put, the menu of ETFs is massive. And while advisors used to debate only about the merits of active versus passive investing ... — Jillian DelSignore

2. 5 Reasons Not to Run From REITs During Rising Interest Rates


Here are five reasons why we believe simply shifting your strategy, but not running from REITs, may provide desired yield—even in the face of yet another rate hike ... — Salvatore Bruno

3. The Impact of Working with a Narcissist


There are different types of narcissists but handling them is always the same: be humble, don’t engage. — Tanya Beaudry

4. Advisors: How to Get Referred


Use these simple tips to establish and grow valuable relationships with Centers of Influence to have them recommend you to their best clients. — Paul Kingsman

5. Five Reasons Why You're Not Getting Referrals


​Are you getting enough qualified referrals from people within your network? Or are you relationship rich but referral poor? — James Pollard

6. Understanding ETF Liquidity and Trading


ETFs offer attractive features—access to a broad range of asset classes, sectors and styles in a liquid, transparent and cost-effective vehicle. But before using that vehicle, it’s helpful to understand how it works ... — ProShares

7. McMobile: Will McDonald’s Mobile Strategy Kill the Drive-thru?


While I personally won’t forsake my Starbucks ritual for McDonalds’ curbside delivery, I have to concede the prospect of having my breakfast provided to me as I pull up to a restaurant does sound appealing. — Joseph Michelli

8. Top Ten Strategies for Increasing Marketing ROI


So many leads, so little time. Your marketing strategy is generating so many qualified prospects and you can’t keep pace. It is an enviable position. — Elizabeth Harr​​​​​​​

9. Is the Trump Bump an Example of Irrational Exuberance?


The stock market continues to soar. The natural question is: How long can this go on? — Mark Germain​​​​​​​

10. Can Trump Follow Reagan's Playbook?


New presidents typically arrive in office with an economic agenda. In the case of Trump, the nature of his proposals has invited comparison with a variety of changes made under the first term of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. — Matthew F. Beaudry

11. Hope Is Fading for Robust Economic Growth


The hope for economic growth much beyond 2.0% looks to be deferred, as legislation appears to be bogging down and the Fed is reducing monetary support, clearly taking the path to interest rate normalization. — SNW Asset Management​​​​​​​

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