Ryan & Janowsky Financial Strategies Group

 

Just like snowflakes, no two investors are the same. Everyone has different tolerances for risk and different goals.  And sometimes, even if an investment strategy may seem to be a logical “fit”, it still may not be comfortable for the person who must “wear” that strategy.

Before we analyze, the definition of comfort for a person’s investment, lets take a look at the basic definitions that help to achieve a plan.

1. Timeline

Each investor will adopt a different time horizon based on their investment plans. Generally, more risk can be taken if there is more time. An individual who needs a certain sum of money at the end of fifteen years can take more risk than an individual who needs the same amount by the end of five years.

2. Goals

Financial goals differ from individual to individual. To accumulate the highest amount of money possible is not the sole purpose of financial planning for many. The amount required to achieve certain goals is calculated, and an investment strategy to deliver such returns is usually pursued. Therefore, each individual will take on a different risk tolerance based on goals.

3. Age

Usually, young individuals should be able to take more risks than older individuals. Young individuals have the capability to make more money working and have more time on their hands to handle market fluctuations.

 

How do we define comfort in the context of the risk of investing?  First, if something is keeping an investor up at night, it surely cannot be the correct strategy.  However, leaving assets in a safe no interest situation still endures risk, the risk of inflation. Maybe a conservative investor will have to be slightly uncomfortable but still be able to tolerate some risk.  A logical solution could be to invest part of one’s assets to the point where it would make sense looking for reasonable returns, while maintaining a comfortable level of assets that are not invested nor earning anything. 

We once used an analogy about comfort levels;

A lady goes to a shoemaker and asks for the most comfortable shoes he can make.  She said she will be at an event with dancing and will be on her feet most of the time.  Later in the conversation the shoemaker learns that the event is a wedding.  He said to her, “I can make the most comfortable shoes made of canvas and Velcro straps that you can wear all day and night and you’ll be comfortable.  But I don’t think I can send you to a wedding in them”.

Sometimes we may have to be just a bit out of our comfort zone, for the sake of adding balance to any part of our lives if we want to achieve certain goals.

John and Peter