After two weeks at Joule Financial I have learned more than I could have imagined. I have worked everyday with our rockstar team to be a sponge, soaking up everything I can about our business and the markets. The purpose of this entry and the ones to follow is to help myself really understand the importance of the things I am learning every day. It would take me two weeks to write all of the things I have learned, but I will focus on some of the highlights:
-The market rewards boring. 89% of active managers could not beat the S&P 500 after fees in 2019. Sometimes the best approach is a simple one. We invest in diversified index and sector ETFs and mutual funds, and allow the power of compound interest work its magic. All the while constantly watching, reallocating, and making calculated small tweaks to our overall allocation. We do not need to be overly complicated and change drastically in response to every headline because over time, the market tends to reward the levelheaded and the boring.
-What is the goal? This is a question I have heard in every meeting since day one at Joule. Whether it is fitness, education, work, or finance; without a goal what is the point? When a client is pressed on this question, I have not heard “I want to be a millionaire” or “Help us turn $500k into $750k”. What I hear instead is life goals and the need for financial plans to help pursue them, “we want to retire in 3 years” or “how can we help our kids through school”, or “I want to quit my job and grow vegetables”. Our business model at Joule is to help our clients plan and make decisions to meet those life goals.
-We believe we are so much more than money managers. Like I mentioned before, our business is to help clients meet their life goals, and I was of the mindset that money management was our way of doing that. I cannot believe the amount of times in just two weeks I have thought: “We do that?”. Whether it is estate planning, employee ownership buyouts, investigating unemployment benefits, or several other endeavors, the answer is very simple — of course we do.
-Taxes, taxes, taxes. As a 23 year old, the most annoying part of any paycheck is seeing the before taxes and after taxes on my paycheck. However, it is truly amazing the amount of tax planning that is involved in wealth management. Traditional IRAs, Roths, conversions, distributions, gains/losses, and just about everything else in this business revolves around taxes. It is truly remarkable how complex and dynamic these things can be, but again, this is why we do financial plans.
– How can the market be up when so many people are down? As I sat at my Thanksgiving table yesterday, I listened to my parents talking over concern of another shut down and potentially having to close their small businesses again. Yet the market continues to reach all-time highs and shows no signs of slowing down. How can this be? Well on this Black Friday that will not see the Gilland family running around to stores or waiting in lines, which we would probably do in any other year, they still sit around the kitchen table on Apple laptops, looking for deals on Amazon, ordering presents from Macy’s, and flipping through holiday photos on Facebook. As we and so many other families continue to buy and scroll, the market will continue to reward these companies, stock prices will rise, and the Dow will probably continue to reach all-time highs.