Routine Maintenance

When my family and I have a long drive ahead of us, a few weeks in advance, I prepare for the journey. My wife would probably tell you that I prepare a little too much and as always, she’s correct. I make sure my truck is serviced, ensure normal air pressure and tire tread, fluids are topped off, and brakes are doing their job. The battery is tested and I check out the spare tire just to be sure. Once I’m satisfied with the vehicle, I open Google Maps to study the path that awaits. Typical traffic, recent weather conditions, construction, alternate routes, clean restrooms, and restaurants are all analyzed. Will being this prudent with my preparation allow me to know exactly what type of experience I’m in for? Of course not. So why do I spend so much time doing it? I prepare this way because I’m able to avoid unnecessary risk. If there is an obstacle or hazard that can be easily detected which results in saving me time, money, and provides my family with peace of mind, I’d like to know about it.

My safety checklist before a road trip reminds me of how investors should think about investing. The vehicle an investor uses is their investment portfolio and the destination is the future goal they are striving for. Many obstacles will arise, but the destination remains the focal point. Just as no two road trips share the same experience, the same applies to investing. Economic cycles will continue to fluctuate and as a result, a mixture of fiscal and monetary policy will periodically be imposed to help expand or contract the economy. The movement of these variables will affect asset prices and understanding how these cyclical metrics influence markets, may potentially help investors spot unnecessary risk.

If you are an investor that would like to know if your investment portfolio is aligned with your destination, it may be time for an inspection. Some portfolios are designed for conditions that are no longer current and need to be adjusted to properly stay the course. Whether your destination is in sight or you’re just hitting the pavement, make sure you work with an advisor who understands where you’re trying to go and is willing to monitor conditions along the way.

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