Are Shares of Stock and Stock Mutual funds “Paper” Investments? – Winter 2014
Most investors tend to have a high level of angst regarding their stock and stock mutual fund investments. When the investing public is euphoric, investors buy stocks, driving the market higher; and when they panic, they sell stocks, causing it to plunge in value. Over short time frames of one, five, and even ten years, a positive experience in the stock market is not assured. But over meaningful time periods of twenty or thirty years, investing in the markets has always been profitable, and in my opinion it always will be. What gives me such a high degree of confidence? The answer is that I understand what investing in a diversified portfolio of equities really is:
An equity investor with thousands of stocks owns small portions of thousands of companies in all economic sectors: companies that manufacture all of the items you buy at a store; farms that grow food, trucking companies that distribute it, and grocers who sell it; restaurant chains, railroads that transport goods, and airlines who transport people, companies that manufacture and sell cars and heavy equipment, companies that create and sell pharmaceuticals, companies who make and sell clothing, tools, and furniture; companies who run health care facilities and nursing homes, companies who make computer hardware, cell phones and software, banks, insurance firms, brokerages, construction, architectural, engineering, and real estate firms; and companies that sell energy, water, and gas. This is by no means an exhaustive list; but the point is this: Unless our society completely collapses, we will always need all of these companies, and we need them to run at a profit to survive and produce their goods and services for society.
As an owner of these businesses, the investor shares pro-rata in those profits. In any given year, a few will have no earnings, and a few others will have stellar earnings. The diversified investor receives the average earnings, and over many years those earnings translate into dividends, capital appreciation, or both.
One of these days we may enter another dark age, and we may be scratching in the dirt for our food. Until that time, I fully expect businesses to remain in existence, and I expect the owners of those businesses to continue to receive the earnings in the form of dividends and growth. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that stocks and stock mutual funds are “paper” investments that are just as likely to lose as gain. The truth is that stocks and stock mutual fund shares are shares of ownership in profitable businesses.
Financial Plan now a member of NAPFA
(the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors)
Financial Plan, Inc. is a member of various national and local regulatory, educational, service, and social organizations:
As Certified Financial Planner registrants, we are subject to the CFP board code of ethics and continuing education requirements. As Investment Advisors, we are registered with the IARD (Investment Advisor Registration Depository), which collects and maintains the registration, reporting, and disclosure information for investment advisors. Our choice of business model and associations are not by coincidence; we feel strongly about building a business based on trust, responsibility and transparency, which is also reflected in our community engagements.
We educate by teaching classes on financial topics at Whatcom Community College and by exchanging information regarding Estate Planning at the Northwest Estate Planning Council. We stay involved with national and local business matters through the Whatcom Business Alliance. We improve communities through various philanthropic organizations such as the Rotary Club of Bellingham and donate our time to the Sacred Heart Finance Council and other charitable organizations. We are coaches for the Assumption Wrestling Team and Lynden Youth Sports. When we get tired of all that work, we have been known to shoot a round or two of golf at the Bellingham Country Club.
We choose to belong to organizations that we feel reflect our business philosophy and support worthwhile endeavors. There is, however, one organization conspicuously absent from the above. It is the country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors. Recently a client asked us why we were not members and we didn’t have a good answer. After careful consideration we decided to apply for membership. The association is NAPFA; the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. In addition to an extensive vetting process, a NAPFA member has educational and experience requirements, and must present a written financial plan to be reviewed as a condition of membership. All NAPFA members must be Fee-Only advisors and must complete 30 hours of continuing education requirements each year. NAPFA holds regular study groups which help to keep its members at the top of the financial planning profession. We are happy to announce that we were accepted to NAPFA on New Year’s Day this year, and we feel they reflect the values we all share here at Financial Plan, Inc.
Form ADV Summary of Material Changes:
This Item discusses specific material changes that have been made to our Brochure since the date of our last annual update, which was March 11, 2013. Since that date all individuals associated with Financial Plan, Inc. have terminated their insurance licenses and no longer accept insurance commissions. Accordingly, Item 5, 10 and 14 have been updated to remove any reference to previous insurance practices.
We will ensure that you receive a summary of any material changes to this and subsequent Brochures within 120 days of the close of our business’ fiscal year. We may further provide other ongoing disclosure information about material changes as necessary and will further provide you with a new Brochure as necessary based on changes or new information, at any time, without charge.
Currently, our Brochure may be requested by contacting us at (360) 714-1234 or james.twining@FinancialPlanInc.com. Our Brochure is provided free of charge.