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A crystal ball for investing? I don’t need one.

 Several weeks ago, Mary and I spent a long weekend in Tallahassee at my daughter’s house. We enjoyed spending time with everyone, especially our grandsons, Rex and Maxwell. Maxwell was particularly excited about showing us his Magic 8 Ball. As you can see, his ball is blue, so it’s not the genuine article. When I asked it if I would ever grow more hair on my head, it answered “Consult me later.” So much for knock-offs.

 Magic 8 Balls – even if they’re fake – are fun to play with, but I can predict the future without one. For example, I predict that the future is going to be uncertain, things are going to change, wars will begin and end, and babies will wet their diapers. Financial markets will go up and down, investments will gain and lose value, and inflation will be either higher or lower than it is today.

 My predictions might not be earth-shattering, but they’re just as good as those that are made every day by Wall Street analysts who are convinced that they know a company’s future earnings to the penny and that you should hitch your investment wagon to their recommendations.

 I’ll let you in on a secret: they don’t have a clue.

 I, on the other hand, can make one prediction about saving for the future that is likely to be true for folks like us: it doesn’t really matter if your portfolio contains Apple or Tesla or Ford or the stock of any other company that an analyst insists you buy. What matters is that your investments are positioned across a variety of asset classes and that you are investing properly for your risk tolerance, goals, and time horizon. There are no guarantees, of course, but investing doesn’t have to be as complicated as the so-called experts say it is.

 Here's another prediction. If you start early, the greatest gift you have when investing for the long-term is time, and I have a great example. I met with clients a few weeks ago whose minor child is the beneficiary of a life insurance policy worth about $80,000. My clients wanted some ideas about how to invest the money. Just for grins, I calculated how the money might grow over the next 40 years at an average rate of return of 8%. The result: more than $1.7 million! It’s not fast and it’s not magic, it’s just math. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it helps a lot if you have an advisor to manage risk and keep you on track when the stock market goes up and down.1

 If you already have a nice nest egg in an IRA or 401(k), congratulations, but your work is not done yet. Income in retirement and preservation of your hard-earned money will likely take center stage. The decisions you make will be important ones. Don’t rely on the Internet gurus to help you with that.

 If you would like to avoid the Magic 8 Ball approach to investing and retirement planning, call me for an appointment.

 I predict that your time with me will be well-spent.


Mike Rich, CFP®, Pontchartrain Investment Management        

2065 1st Street

Slidell, LA 70458



1This is a hypothetical example and is not representative of any specific situation. Your results will vary. The hypothetical rate of return used does not reflect the deduction of fees and charges inherent to investing. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

 Securities and Advisory Services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA, SIPC.

 The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.