Money Smart Week Financial Expert Panel Notes: Financial Focus 2011

What should an investor be most focused on in their current financial decision making?  Earlier last week, I promised you my notes from a financial expert panel discussion held during the Money Smart Week Preview Party 2011 at the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

They panel was chocked full of "intellectual-financial-martial-arts" from these experts surrounding the theme of "Financial Focus 2011: What's on the Shortlist":

  • Jack Ablin - Chief Investment Officer, Harris Private Bank
  • David Herro - Chief Investment Officer at Harris Associates
  • Gail Marks Jarvis - Financial Columnist, Chicago Tribune
  • Jon Najarian -, CNBC TV Contributor

Financial Expert Panel on "Financial Outlook 2011 - What on the Shortlist?" (Post Of The Day)

Here are my notes from their comments as it boiled around to addressing these two main points:

  1. Risk
  2. Making a plan       

DISCLAIMER: These notes should not be misunderstood as financial planning or investment advice
and should serve only as discussion points with your financial

  • Why are we feeling so badly when the markets are doing well?  Hello, the markets are showing very positive signs!
  • What should people think about this "risk"?  People didn't know risk before the recession! We thought stocks go up 10% each year and not knowing that it was an average.  Before Japan disaster, people were JUST starting to put money in stocks n mutual it's a black swan!
  • Get acclimated to volatility! Get used to ups and downs of the economy and proper asset allocation in tough times!!
  • Not what your stress test is in tough times!
  • Why is it during 10 years you made nothing! But if you've invested since Oct 2008 up til now you would have made 300%! (Not sure what specific investment or index the panel was referring to, worthwhile to have this discussion with your advisor)
  • Markets influenced by public policy...war creates the market to go sideways versus up and down
  • Current market will go sideways until 2015
  • Managing risk unless you have a 20 yr time horizon is the primary concern!!
  • Investing is...a psychological thing...would you buy apple if it was down $50 a share?
  • The reason why people sell out is cause they don't have a plan!!  If you don't have a plan, you easily fall prey to fear and lack of confidence causing poor financial decisions.
  • Target date funds - for those don't know how to invest (poll says that less than 2-3% knew how to invest) Gail Marks Jarvis talks about target date funds lost 30% at a time when people needed this for their retirement. Because target date funds don't tell you what us in them!!
  • Don't be out in dummy funds and be told "Trust us!" Don't trust in words, trust in numbers!!!
  • Our workforce must be educated (overtime) we have to "paper-over" balance with inflation
  • Can u spend a half hour to an hour a week to learn about personal finances?
  • With education, you'll stick to your convictions (or not)!
  • One of the reasons why people sell at the wrong time is because they think "other people" know better!
  • Insurance for traders - they buy "put protection"
  • (As someone yells from the crowd) What do you do About China? (Panel replies) Ignore them...
  • Take a growth preservation attitude. With most wealthy people if their net worth doubled, their lifestyle would not change.  HOWEVER, if it was cut in half, it would change!!
  • How do we add over 266k jobs, unemployment down to 8.8% and yet consumer confidence is down? Gas prices are holding us back...the same forces that drive up energy costs are the same forces that can drive it down.
  • They say buy low sell high buy we never do it! -Gail Marks Jarvis
  • How many millionaires you know invest in savings accounts?? <---GOOD POINT!

While taking a tour through open outcry pit on the floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, here's some banter I took notes from a trader walking us around:

Bill showing how he places a trade, using the words &quot;put&quot;, &quot;call&quot; and if need be, &quot;OH LORD!&quot; (Post Of The Day)

Bill, taking us on a tour of the trading floor and open outcry pit

  • Money you invest in the stock market it better be money you can burn!!!!
  • If you wanna be a trader, go one year in the business and hope you break even.  If you can, you'll be successful in the future!!

Stay tuned to a vlog from a panel I hosted at Columbia College highlighting "Entreprenuers in the Arts" who are balancing what they love, the tough economy and how they pay the bills! 

Be sure to connect with me on Facebook & Twitter for other announcements, events and personal finance tips that don't readily hit my blog...wouldn't want you to miss out!!

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