Post about "Financial"

Diversification, Investment Control, Financial Intelligence and Investing in the Right Asset Types

Most of what has been drilled into our heads about investing in mutual funds, CD’s paying down our mortgage and diversifying is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The financial services companies like Fidelity, Charles Schwab and financial planners are the ones making all of the money. The problem is that most people have very little financial education in order to invest for retirement properly so they hand over their money to someone they HOPE will have the right knowledge base to safely increase their wealth. The problem is that these investment types are HUGELY RISKY. These types of asset classes, paper assets, do not allow the investor control. Then during market crashes, all most can do is watch helplessly as their wealth gets whipped out along with their financial security. If you have more control over your assets then you are not affected as much by market crashes. For example, if you invest in assets like real estate that produce cash flow through rental income after all of your expenses are covered, if the real estate market and stock market crash you are still in great shape. While everything is crashing you are still receiving your rents and do not need to sell the asset. Investing in non-paper assets (i.e. not mutual funds or CD’s) allows you to use leverage as well which increases your wealth by making your money work harder for you. Most financial planners will tell you that using leverage increases risk. That is not always the case if you have the right financial knowledge to control the investment and enable safety controls on your leverage use.They will also tell you that real estate is a risky investment. The reason for that is that financial planners typically lack the financial knowledge about how to control real estate and make it profitable. Most financial planners put people into paper assets where the investor does not have control and therefore it is hugely risky to use leverage. In real estate investments the value of the property should not be based on the “opinion” of an appraiser but on the income that it produces through rents. The value of the rental real estate is dependent on jobs, salaries, demographics, local industry, and supply and demand of affordable housing. In a housing crash, the demand for rental units often goes up, which means rents increase causing the value of your property to increase. You can control rental real estate and which geographic areas you invest in unlike paper assets that allow no controls. Financial intelligence is the key to increasing your controls over your investments. It’s extremely important to continue to increase your financial intelligence in order to protect yourself. Unfortunately, financial intelligence is not taught in schools because such a large portion of the population, including teachers and politicians do not have a very high financial IQ. When financial advisors say that an increase in returns means an increase in risk, they are right when speaking about the paper assets they recommend to investors that they make major commissions on BEFORE showing performance. They are wrong when speaking for all assets. Financial advisors are simply salespeople. Most people invest in paper assets such as savings, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and index funds because they do not want to take responsibility and control over their financial well being. All they want is to turn their money over to an investment advisor who hopefully does a good job. Out of sight, out of mind. If people want more control, the first thing they need to do is increase their financial intelligence and hopefully increase their financial controls and leverage ratios.Most financial advisors recommend diversification but they do not really diversify. First they only invest your money in one asset class, paper assets. Second, mutual funds are already diversified investments which are invested in a pool of good and bad stocks which does not increase the value or decrease the risk of the investments. Professional investors DO NOT diversify. Warren Buffett put it perfectly when he said, “Diversification is a protection against ignorance. Diversification is not required if a person knows what they are doing.” So if diversification is a protection against ignorance then when you diversify whose ignorance are you protecting yourself from? Your ignorance and your financial advisors ignorance? Focus, not diversification, is the key to more sophisticated leverage, higher returns, and lower risk.The point I am trying to make is that if you increase your financial intelligence about specific asset classes, like real estate, you will learn how to control your own financial security and wealth creation instead of relying on some financial advisor who probably does not know what they are doing. Look at the massive wealth transfer that just occurred when the market crashed while bailing out the banks (i.e. the top 1% wealthy individuals increased their wealth while the middle class and poor decreased in wealth). This happened because most people do not have the financial intelligence to protect themselves. Starting to get financially educated is the key to wealth creation. So get to the bookstore and start reading. Take classes on financial intelligence and ways to increase wealth. It is the key to your success and preserving your wealth so that financial predators (i.e. the government, financial advisors and the large mutual fund peddling companies like Fidelity and Charles Schwab) do not take all of your wealth away by investing it in asset classes that do not allow you any controls over those investments.