by Jack Waymire
Establishing realistic, achievable expectations is more complicated than you may think. Make sure you read our eBook, How to Calculate Your Investment Performance Expectations and use our worksheet to develop yours.
Did you know that a performance promise is a frequently used sales tactic by financial advisors because it appeals to your need for results?
Your Performance Expectations
Understand what characteristics performance expectations should be based on. It should be a well thought-out process.
Your performance expectation is based on several assumptions that reflect your needs and the various forms of erosion: expenses, inflation, distributions, and taxes. Your expectation should include a premium return that increases the real value of your assets over time.
More sophisticated fee advisors will be able to provide input for your assumptions and help you select an appropriate premium return.
If you know your actual expenses, you can estimate the expenses, or your financial advisor can provide the information. This is an important assumption because investment expenses impact your net performance.
Why include inflation in your performance expectation? Inflation erodes the purchasing power of your assets. That is a big deal if you are investing long-term, for example retirement assets.
If you are retired you may be taking distributions to help cover your expenses. By offsetting distributions with performance, you reduce your risk of prematurely invading your principal.
Are all of your assets held in tax-deferred accounts (IRAs) or are your assets held in taxable accounts where you will incur taxes for dividend and interest income and transactions that produce realized capital gains?
It’s simple. If you want higher returns you have to accept higher risk. If you want lower risk you have to accept lower returns. Understand how this risk/reward relationship governs how performance and risk interact with each other over longer time periods.
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