The advice I was giving to my 48-year-old client (let’s call him Joe) about the dangers of having half of his total investment portfolio in one stock was starting to feel like nagging. Joe had every intention of selling once it reached his desired price point. If he could get a big pop on this one idea, he explained, it would mean he could use the returns to fund a few more years of expenses, postpone going back to work, and have more time to be with his two-year-old son. Then a negative report was released and that one stock fell more than 70% in one week.
The majority of us in the LGBT community do not have children. One advantage Joe has over those of us without kids is that he is likely going to have a son who will be in his prime earning years when Joe is trying to find ways not to outlive his assets. One financial planning goal everyone shares is to not run out of money later in life. But as the saying goes though, “s*!#” happens.” Even in our prime earning years, few are totally immune from the possibility of losing a job or becoming disabled. And when it’s time to live off of our investments later in life, financial markets can drop right when we most need them to behave.
For an LGBT person who will be facing the golden years without financially stable kids, there is no room for silly risks with an investment portfolio. Our biggest risk is not stock market volatility today; it’s the risk of running out of money later. Company pension plans are virtually extinct and social security for anyone under 60 is an endangered species. If you don’t have kids who can help financially later in life, your portfolio may be your only portal to having a sufficient quality of life in your 80’s and 90’s.
Think twice if you view the stock market as something that should be exciting. Boring is better. If you insist on having fun with your money, limit those ideas to 5% of your total investments, and use logic and science for the other 95%. I invite you to read The Investment Answer, a book that is short enough to be completed on a coast-to-coast flight. It’s the most truthful and easy to understand book I’ve come across about how to create the perfect low cost portfolio. You have probably spent more time planning vacations than you have on your investment strategy. Just sayin’…