The Past and the Future: Planning for the Unexpected

The Past and the Future: Planning for the Unexpected

By A. Scott White, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®
President, Scott White Advisors

Looking back over the past 20 years of helping generations of clients manage their wealth, there’s one thing I know about the future: The unexpected frequently happens. That’s why, since I started my financial advisory firm in 2001, we haven’t built investment portfolios based on events that may or may not happen. Since the beginning, our practice has built investment portfolios with the understanding that market fluctuations do happen. Whether stock markets are down or up, we want to have a high level of confidence our clients can meet their goals and objectives.

The past 20 years have shown us how the markets can fluctuate; returns can vary sharply from one period to another. Using the S&P 500 as an example, you can see the highs and lows of the past 2 decades.

Source: Dimensional Investing 1

The longest-running bull market in U.S. history celebrated its 10-year anniversary on March 9, 2019, and the bull market has continued since then. But it followed a 17-month bear market known as the financial crisis of 2007–2009, when the S&P 500 lost approximately 50% of its value.

Decades of observing the ups and downs of the market have taught me that market timing doesn’t work. After all, market timing doesn’t manage portfolios; people do. Advisors like me, who are Registered Investment Advisors, must avoid conflicts of interest and operate with full transparency. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, I ascribe to a fiduciary standard of care requiring that I act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice. Our goal is to help clients lead the life they choose by providing competent, ethical financial advice—in turbulent and calm markets.

This fiduciary standard of care, combined with a custom Investment Policy Statement, helps our clients maintain sustainable, long-term market strategies—and be prepared for the unexpected.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your family over the last 20 years.

Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected, including diversification and asset allocation.  Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Keep in mind that individuals cannot invest directly in any index. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the U.S. stock market.

Please note, changes in tax laws may occur at any time and could have a substantial impact upon each person’s situation. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of RJFS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.