Thursday, April 15, 2010

Financial Fitness 101

We all know the drill. Go to the gym several times per week, do the same exercises and make little or no progress. How many of us have been in this situation? This is why cross training is so important. Different exercises give you better results.

Do you see where I'm going with this one?

Asset allocation is the king of cross training when it comes to retirement planning! You can't have all your investments in one asset class and expect different results. Diversifying your portfolio to include cash/bonds/stocks/real estate/commodities is the key to long term growth and the reduction in volatility or risk.

Many of you have heard my baseball analogy in the past. For those of you, I apologize if I'm repeating myself. If we knew where the batter was going to hit the ball, we put everyone in that position. Loading up on 9 players in left field sounds good if you're dealing with a pull hitter. But, should the ball go to any other position, you have a problem. You missed the action.

Same thing applies to investing. Don't put all your $$$ into large US stocks and avoid the rest of the universe. The world has become one market in many regards and there are a ton of opportunities beyond our borders. Certain companies should provide a great reference point. For example, Porsche, Dannon, Nestle, Fox TV, Nintendo and Budweiser are all foreign companies.

Lastly, investing and exercising should NOT be all or nothing. Consistent investing in good/bad times is key to long term success. When thunder clouds appear, have the courage to push forward.

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