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Beware The Ides Of March: Are You Your Own Retirement's Worst Enemy?

Mar. 08, 2018 7:44 PM ET3 Comments
Chris Jaccard, CFA profile picture
Chris Jaccard, CFA

By Financial Alternatives

The Ides of March commemorates Julius Caesar, the Emperor who significantly expanded the Roman Empire - only to meet his demise by a conspiracy carried out by his own people. Just as Caesar’s fate turned to misfortune as a result of his tragic flaw, we see people who are their wealth’s worst enemy. If you’re making these retirement planning mistakes, it’s best to seek counsel before the bright day brings forth the adder.

Making Emotional Decisions

In our decades of experience, we’ve seen examples of perfectly rational, logical people who make emotional decisions that lead to their finances becoming compromised. Unfortunately, being called in to be the independent voice of reason after the fact is a step too late.

A common emotional trap that people run into when managing their own money includes holding on to company stock or an inherited position for reasons of nostalgia. This can lead to dangerously undiversified portfolios.

Timing the Market

Very few people get this right. Most of the time, trying to sell at the top of the market and buy when the market has dipped creates more trouble than it prevents. Even professional money managers can’t successfully time the market.

Choose an advisor who will balance your needs for principle protection, income, and growth against market conditions. This approach, rather than one of reactive trading, is the best way to create long-term growth.

Being House Poor

Buying a house that is beyond your means is a common retirement planning mistake.

The American Dream can turn into a nightmare if you’re living beyond your means with your real estate. People’s eyes being bigger than their wallets turned against us a decade ago when the real estate bubble burst, causing the largest systematic failure of the banking system that our country has ever seen.

While the crisis has passed, some families are still getting themselves into

This article was written by

Chris Jaccard, CFA profile picture
I’m pleased to have spent my entire professional career with independent financial advisory firms where our interests are aligned with those of our clients. Since 1998, I have helped clients with a range of matters, from personal budgeting to sophisticated investment and tax planning. In addition to advising individuals and families as part of our financial planning team at Financial Alternatives, Inc., I oversee trading and operations. I also guide firm-wide investment policy alongside Jim Freeman, CFP®. Certifications: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA); CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Specialties: Integrated Wealth Management; Investment Management; Financial Planning; Asset Protection; Life, Tax, and Estate Planning.

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Comments (3)

Hardog profile picture
"it’s best to seek counsel before the bright day brings forth the adder" not sure how this related to Julius wasn't that Cleo and her lover ?.
Excellent timely advice. Everyone with extended family and financial assets must follow proper estate planning to avoid difficult consequences later.
Regarded Solutions profile picture
Important piece! Thanks
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