Survivorship Bias and Other Tricks of the Trade
Written by Andrew Hunt
Written by Jason Hiley
How often have you heard that “a penny saved is a penny earned”?
While I can’t claim credit for originating this succinct wisdom, it has served me well over the years — both personally and professionally — in helping my clients make smarter decisions about their money.
But at what point does a “penny saved” become an “experience missed”? When I was a child, my mother took us on wonderful vacations. We traveled to California; Hawaii; Florida; Washington, D.C.; and even Europe. Those were ever-lasting, life-altering experiences that I’m eternally grateful to my mother for. And now, as a parent of two children, I know all too well how expensive family travel can be!
But I often ask myself how much more money could my mom have set aside for her own retirement had we not taken those big trips? Could she have retired a couple of years earlier if that money had been invested instead of spent? The answers to those questions are probably “a lot” and “yes”; yet, I know my mom doesn’t regret a single dollar that she spent on those adventures with us.
The challenge for us all is to find a good balance between living life for today while also planning for tomorrow. That’s why Hiley Hunt Wealth Management advocates goals-based planning for our clients.
Goals-based planning puts the emphasis on what we think matters most: the achievement of your goals. How and where to invest are determined only after defining and then prioritizing your goals. Our goal-setting process is the foundation on which our clients’ financial plans are built.
This process affords a framework from which to make appropriate planning and investment decisions. During this exercise, you might find, as my own mother did, that spending money on creating memories is something that is very important to you. Although choosing to do something like this means that you are saving less money “in the present” for longer-term goals such as the creation of a retirement fund, it does not mean that you can’t successfully accomplish your short- and long-term goals. It simply means adjustments need to be made — you may need to plan to work a few years longer than you originally envisioned, commit to saving more after your children are on their own, or decrease the amount of money you plan to have available in retirement. Goals-based planning makes identifying these kinds of trade-offs possible.
Our financial planning and wealth management process is designed to lead our clients through a series of steps to help them identify goals and values, take stock of where they currently are, and develop a plan to get them where they want to go. The life path that each client travels is unique, so we map out personalized routes to enable each individual to reach his or her financial destination. If you are interested in working with a financial partner who is committed to helping you achieve your goals, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.