Growing up as a young boy on a farm in Iowa, being a millionaire was a BIG deal since very few had achieved the status of being one. Subsequently the need to preserve wealth seemed like a distant need for those with that rare status.
I don’t think I ever met a millionaire personally as a youth. But of course, some people I knew “back in the day” ended up being millionaires. Despite that, a millionaire today does not feel like the image of the millionaire they had in their minds. In 2018, having a million dollars is not chump change. However, due to inflation, having a million dollars today is not the same as it was “back in the day”. The need to preserve wealth is greater since the purchasing impact is more dear.
Wealth status as a percentage of the population is dependent on the age one is at the time. $1,165,000 or more places one in the 10% of the wealth in the US for the 18 to 100 age group! An 18-year-old with a million dollars is fairly rare. Investors that have a few years of saving/investing are more likely to have higher net worths. In the 40-100 age demographic, the top 10% of wealth begins at $1,545,000. At age 50-100 to be in the top 10%, the number rises to $1,856,000.
Despite having achieved the status of being in the top 10% of wealth, an investment portfolio having $1,500,000 or $1,800,000 simply doesn’t feel to many that have it that they have it made. In fact, concerns often shift towards capital preservation and reducing volatility than how fast the portfolio can grow. The pull towards portfolio preservation accentuates the closer one is to using the portfolio for supporting their lifestyle. The desire to preserve wealth grows even more when the portfolio withdrawals are done.
Human beings instinctively know that sudden downward movements in portfolio values are bad for us. These shifts are often described using the term volatility by investment geeks. Ignoring volatility is useful in building portfolios. Growing portfolios will experience many ups and downs over time. I have never met an investor that didn’t like upside volatility. Yet when the portfolio went down the fear factor kicked in. The timing of the investment markets is a failed strategy that some continue to attempt. The evidence is clear when it comes to building assets. Volatility happens but ignoring the short-term fluctuations can be a smart strategy. It allows an investor to have their portfolio positioned to fully capture the upside volatility everyone wants.
Preserve Wealth – Using is Different than Building:
The effort to preserve wealth becomes more important as we use our financial resources. In using the portfolio, to realize financial independence goals and dreams, the dynamics of portfolio design shift. The withdrawal of capital during periods of downside volatility changes the dynamics of portfolio construction. The principles engaged with investing have evolved to meet the needs of investors that need to preserve wealth. Engaging investment concepts to mitigate the level of volatility and still allow for a portfolio to preserve purchasing power long-term is vital. This is imperative to not only achieving a level of financial security but maintain it, possibly, for decades in the future.
In my latest book, “The Other Path: Illuminating the Path to Lower Volatility While Achieving Equity Type Returns” innovative ideas are explored. Investing strategies, tested by time, relevant to the current investing climate are explored in detail. Cash and bonds are not the only alternatives for investors when designing a portfolio strategy to preserve wealth. White Oaks’ strategies can provide access and process to include alternative investments to enhance the effectiveness of your portfolio.