It is human nature to want to be in control. When you think of it, probably the most uncomfortable times in your life are when you have felt out of control. Just think of the last time markets took a dive. You held quality investments, but it didn’t matter – the market was marking down all stocks indiscriminately, regardless of size or earnings.
There are several reasons people may choose to manage their own portfolios. For some it is a major focus of their life, without it, they wouldn’t know how to fill their time. We have also come across people who look forward to spending their new found time in retirement paying more attention to their portfolio.
For others, it may be a desire to prove they are smarter than the market, and can outperform professional investors (although typically not on a risk-adjusted basis). Some look at it as legalized gambling, where they can set the odds; and then there are those who believe they can do a better job than anyone else, and save advisory fees, by maintaining sole control over their investment decisions.
The common thread between each of these scenarios is control. Either control of your time, control of your budget, or control of your future. At the end of the day, the decision to continue to manage your investments, or turn over control to a professional, hinges on what is the best use of your time.
Time is a wasting asset. We can’t get yesterday back, and we have no guarantee of tomorrow.
Looking at our lives through this lens may offer a completely different perspective on how best we can use the gift of limited time we have been given.
Are there more purposeful things you can do with your time than watching CNBC for most of the day? Are your efforts really adding value or merely killing time? Do you have the tools to adjust for money flows, benchmarking and tax impact when viewing your returns?
There comes a time in everyone’s life when we should turn over control of our finances whether it be for lack of time, training or temperament. Today, more than ever, it makes sense to ask yourself whether you are controlling your investments, or whether they are controlling you.