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Seaweed and the savvy sailor

Seaweed and the savvy sailor

Why watch the tides go in and out without giving up our strategies

March 2018 has almost ended and it looks like it will be another red month. Client portfolios will be affected. The title of this article is dedicated to one particular client who frustratingly refers to the way his portfolio drifts up and down as “seaweed”. His frustration is real and his concern valid. You are right I say. The term we professionally use for seaweed movement is volatility. Sometimes the tide is strong and the moves are high and sometimes the tide is low and the moves are shallow. My agreement with the client does not help his concern. However, "there is no such thing as absolute positive returns" I say, so let's evaluate our alternatives. Straight line, low risk or risk free, absolute returns for investments are a myth, a marketing term used to lead investors into believing that they should invest in whatever the salesman is offering. "Ok", says the investor. "If returns over time are low and potential for losses seems so high, why should we bother", he asks? "Let me just put my money in cash and forget about it". Then conversation goes back to financial planning basics.