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The Ric Edelman Show Featuring David B. Armstrong, CFA

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Ric:

Thanks for hanging around with us here on the Ric Edelman Show. It is “The Truth About Money“ and we’re doing a special broadcast today from the Bellagio Hotel on Las Vegas. You can call us whenever you want, Triple eight plan Ric, or visit us online at ricedelman.com. Barron’s is here hosting its annual conference of some of the top financial advisors in the country and their teams and we’ve been interviewing a series of advisors from around the country and our final couple of guests I’m happy to welcome Dave Armstrong of Monument Wealth Management and Bob Fragasso of Fragasso Financial Advisors. Dave, you’re in Alexandria, Virginia, Bob you’re in Pittsburg, PA, welcome gentleman to the Ric Edelman show, how are you?

 

Dave:

I’m great thank you.

 

Bob:

Fine, thank you Ric.

 

Ric:

So you’ve been hearing the other interviews we’ve done with other advisors here on the program today. We’ve talked about Donald Trump and the impact of the new administration, we’ve talked about the fact that we’re in an eight-year bull market that’s getting old and the DOW hitting twenty thousand, an all-time high, uncertainty due to the department of labor’s fiduciary rule and not knowing whether the Trump administration will repeal it or delay it or modify it in some way or let it go through as planned on April tenth. We’ve talked about the surprises that financial advisors have for their clients in terms of what they should be focusing on and what matters and things like that. So I’m going to give you two guys the microphone here, for you to tell me, what is it, that you wish I would ask you here on the program. Start with you, Dave Armstrong of Monument Wealth Management.

 

Dave:

Well I think it would be an interesting thing to talk about how people are viewing some of the changes that have been taking place in politics and in the market that you just mentioned. And how it really relates to them as investors, and I’m a proponent of people having a financial plan, a long term investment strategy. SO I really don’t think that the short term events that have been taking place, nor the crossing of DOW twenty thousand should really be impacting people’s decision making process right now.

 

Ric:

But are you getting that commentary from people? Are they paying too much attention to the markets and the Dow than you think they should?

 

Dave:

I feel like I’m seeing a lot more of it in the press than I am from my actual clients. My clients view crossing DOW twenty thousand as no more of a milestone than say, crossing the North Carolina South Carolina state boarder on a trip from DC to Miami. It’s certainly notable, but it really doesn’t provide any meaningful benchmark on how well you are progressing on your travel south.

 

Ric:

So if you have a client say to you that they heard some other advisor recommending portfolio changes as a result of the DOW twenty thousand, your response would be what?

 

Dave:

My response would be that it is impossible to have any kind of facts about the future and anybody who is trying to provide any sort of insight into what is going to happen next is simply giving their opinion… and opinions are fine and they can be entertaining and they’re not without merit, but because there’s not a way of looking at the future and really drawing any factual evidence or anything I don’t think anyone’s investment strategy should really change just because we hit a major milestone.

 

Ric: 

In other words, your crystal ball stinks. You’re not even going to play the game.

 

Dave:

I think all of our crystal balls stink, except for the crystal ball that says that people who have a well-diversified portfolio, have a long term investment strategy, that crystal ball will tell you that people have a very high probability of meeting the goals and objectives of their plan.

 

Ric:

Of course you’re not saying diversification guarantees any level of success, and the reason I cite this is that there are an awful lot of folks that we see, I’m sure you see them too, on the internet and emails, on late night TV, ridiculous mail pitches you get at home of people saying the market is about to tank, the dollar is about to be destroyed, the US government’s going to collapse, therefore buy gold, or therefore buy whatever it is they’re pitching you to buy, whether it some options trading software or some Armageddon strategy. People exploiting the fears that folks have as a result of this. What’s your response to all that?

 

Dave:

You know, my response to that is, and you’re right, you can’t turn on any XM satellite channel without hearing all the commercials on gold and playing on people’s fears, but I think you could go back and look at what were the news cycles at every time the DOW crossed a thousand point threshold and say, geez could you have looked at the news and found every reason in the world to sell your portfolio at that time and you could probably dig something out of the news that could have been fearful at the time, but none of those things have really stopped over the long term.

 

Ric:

So ignore all that.

 

Dave:

I think that the long term investor should ignore all that. If you’re a trader and you trade for a living every single day, maybe those things are important to you every single day, but for general investors, who have a well thought out financial plan, investment strategy, these things should be taken into account on a month to month, or even a quarter to quarter basis.

 

Ric:

So that was Dave Armstrong on the question he wanted me to ask him. And Bob Fragasso, of Pittsburg PA, you’re a financial advisor, what question do you want me to pose to you?…

 

 

Dave:

Yeah, I think that both investors and advisors always need to be addressing the question, what is the money for? And without that it’s really, without that question being answered, its really impossible to create a great investment strategy for anybody.

 

Ric:

Terrific information. That’s Dave Armstrong of Monument Wealth Management in Alexandria Virginia and Bob Fragasso of Fragasso Financial Advisors in Pittsburg PA. Gentleman, thanks very much for joining me on the program.

 

Dave:

Thank you, Ric.

 

Bob:

Thank you, Ric.

 

Listen to the whole show here, on Ric Edelman’s website >

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