By John Halterman You diligently work hard and save your money for your future, but do you know what happens to your money once you invest it? Do you just cross your fingers and hope for the best, or are you aware of the challenges to investing and the factors that can make or break your financial future? At Beacon Wealth Management, our mission is to help you make smart decisions about your money. To do this, we use a disciplined professional process to establish a solutions-based wealth strategy to help you reach your goals. When you work with us, we want you to understand what we do with your money and how it gets you from point A to point B and have confidence that your finances are on track. We created our investment advisory process guide to do just that. Managing The Challenges Of Investment Success There’s no question that investing is challenging. Markets are unpredictable, it’s hard to know if you’re making the right decisions, and headlines are constantly creating hype. Here are a few challenges to be aware of. Challenge #1: Market Volatility And Recessions Volatility and corrections may be an expected part of the market cycle, but that doesn’t mean you don’t worry when the markets hit a tough spot. Volatility is more relevant to your investment portfolio than average annual returns. The amount that you lose coupled with how close you are to retirement can cost you valuable recovery time and wreak havoc on your income plans. Challenge #2: Human Emotions Let’s face it, we aren’t good at making decisions when our emotions are running wild. We tend to overreact and make illogical decisions that are not in our best interest. Multiple studies have analyzed how our emotions affect our investing results, especially when we chase above-average returns. A 2015 DALBAR study revealed that investors’ decisions were the biggest reason for underperformance. (1) Simply put, behavioral biases lead to poor investment decision-making. Challenge #3: Managing Risk Do you know how much risk is in your portfolio? Volatility and risk will always exist, but the key to success is minimizing their impact on your savings. Many investors either adhere to the 60/40 asset allocation principle or try to avoid risk altogether. Neither of these strategies will have a happy ending. In a static 60/40 portfolio, the 40% held in bonds is supposed to be a buffer for the loss from stocks in a downturn. But the reality is that a traditional 60/40 portfolio derives more than 85% of its risk from the stock component, putting you at a much higher risk than you might think. But if you go the other direction and try to avoid risk by investing in fixed-income products such as certificates of deposit (CDs) or fixed annuities, you might pay the price in lower performance and higher fees. Erring too much on the side of caution too many years ahead of retirement may prevent you from gaining the potential returns you need to retire on your terms. Our Disciplined Investment Process At Beacon Wealth Management, we understand the impact these challenges have on your life. As a solution to these common investment challenges and strategies, we have created an investment philosophy that relies on a repeatable, research-driven process. We apply this philosophy by selecting the appropriate personalized asset allocation model for each client to align with their goals and risk tolerance. By getting to know you, establishing clear objectives, and determining risk capacity, we can then develop a customized investment strategy for you, taking into account market conditions, portfolio composition, and investment selection. Our risk management process is designed to help protect your portfolio from catastrophic market corrections of 20% or more by monitoring markets daily and using a fact-based approach designed to shield portfolios during severe market events. We believe risk mitigation can have the added benefit of making investor experiences smoother, which leads to less impulsive investment decisions. Want To Know More? We would love to walk you through our investment process, showing you the difference our strategies can make in your financial life. Download our full Investment Process Guide and reach out to us at (304) 626-3900 or [email protected] to set up an appointment. About John John is the founder and owner of Beacon Wealth Management. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs, professional practitioners, and retiree red-zoners overcome the major financial challenges facing affluent families. As a trusted and friendly financial partner, John delivers a collaborative client experience that empowers and guides people to reach a greater purpose for their wealth and pursue their financial dreams. He understands the multifaceted set of financial worries people face as they become more successful and get within the retirement red zone. John is well-regarded throughout the business community for his expertise. He has appeared as an expert guest on The Brian Tracy Show and Hollywood Live with Jack Canfield, is the co-author of the book Masters of Success with Brian Tracy, is the host of the WDTV News 5 segment “Solutions 4 Financial Independence,” and has conducted hundreds of educational events on Retirement and Investment Advisory, Tax Reduction, and Wealth Transfer Planning. These include many Universities, Federal Employee Organizations, Professional Associations, and Large Energy Companies throughout the eastern United States. With more than two decades of experience, John is credentialed as a Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS), Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), Certified Estate Planner (CEP), Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant (ChFEBC), Professional Plan Consultant (PPC), and Registered Financial Consultant (RFC). He is also a past multi-year member of Ed Slott’s Master Elite IRA Study Group. A native of Weston, West Virginia, John served in the United States Air Force prior to becoming a Wealth Advisor. Today, he resides with his family in Clarksburg, West Virginia. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married since 2005 and have three amazing children. A family-oriented man, he is passionate about giving back to his community, coaching youth sports, landscaping, architectural design, and playing racquetball. _______________ (1)