Paul Meloan – Vested Interest

I have a confession to make.  At no point in my life was I ever excited by stocks or the stock market.  As a child I learned to read and do basic math by following baseball in the newspapers, not the business page.  I didn’t know who John Templeton or Warren Buffett were when I was 10, I was much more concerned with the Baltimore Orioles and whether Eddie Murray would win AL Rookie of the Year (he did). I knew that Garry Templeton played for the Cardinals.

Yet I ended up pursuing a career in which the relative value and performance of stocks seems like it should be of paramount value. It may seem that way, but it is not.

Today we are experiencing the “Brexit,” one of those periodic jolts in the market that no one seemed prepared for.  These happen regularly (Does everyone remember the “Sequester” Panic of 2013?) and will never go away.

Being a grown-up about your money and your financial plan means understanding these things will always happen and (1) you cannot predict them; (2) you cannot react to them; (3) anyone who says they did is either lucky or a fraud.

We are buying stocks today for clients not because we think this is some great opportunity. We are buying today because that’s what their plan says they need more of in their portfolio.  We are also selling today for those clients who need more cash or non-volatile assets because that’s what their plan says they need more of.

On the whole, those buying today probably got a little lucky, and those selling probably got a little unlucky.  Will it matter? Ask me in 10 years.

In the meantime, from an investment standpoint there is precisely nothing to see or do here.  Keep calm and carry on.



Paul Meloan is the co-founder and co-managing member of Aegis Wealth Management, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland USA. Before Aegis Paul was a practicing attorney as well as working in the tax practice of Ernst & Young, LLP.

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