Monument Resource Center
Our clients hire us because they recognize the value of our Team’s unique, straight-forward, unfiltered opinion and our tailored advice designed to answer their questions, not everyone else’s. Below, you’ll find some of the most important questions we have been asked over the years to help you better understand the role we play and the advice we give.
Selling your business is tough. Designing a portfolio that meets your post-business sale lifestyle is tougher still. The portfolio construction process is “simple,” meaning it’s easy to understand and not necessarily complex – we believe there’s elegance in simplicity. Sticking with a simple portfolio, on the other hand, is challenging – and in this case, the challenge is almost entirely psychological.
The behavioral and psychological aspects that allow an entrepreneur to be successful are very different from the behavioral and psychological traits of a successful investor. There exists a massive difference between the skills and techniques needed to become wealthy versus the skills and techniques needed to stay wealthy.
Let’s start with the “simple” part: Positioning Your Portfolio
Positioning your investment portfolio to sustain your post-business sale lifestyle requires two seemingly contradictory goals: growth and cash flow. To be clear, cash flow is different than income. Income is usually derived from work, effort, or adding value to a business. Cash flow is generally considered to be passive, ideally from an asset that has two specific, unique characteristics: inflation protection and growth of the cash flow stream.
After selling a business, an investor can typically create high income from the purchase of fixed income or other conservative assets. But your lifestyle is not “fixed”. That’s why you must instead create cash flow that grows over time – this is particularly true given the combination of ultra-low interest rates and the ever-present specter of inflation.
Our lifestyles change and our needs grow over time. After selling a business and transitioning into retirement, we replace daily expenses like commuting with different expenses, such as healthcare and travel. To meet the growing costs of living, our cash flow must also grow over time.
Indexing Alone Won’t Cut It
We cannot simply move our assets into an index fund and hope it all works out. Indexing has specific challenges, including but not limited to: sequence of returns risk, behavioral challenges, cash flow challenges, and the index may not fit your unique circumstances. Also, generating cash from an index portfolio, versus a portfolio designed for high and growing cash flow, may require you to sell portions of your investment and make decisions on when to sell and how much in order to meet current spending needs. That said, an index portfolio can, paradoxically, introduce an element of market timing—which can have negative and lasting effects on your portfolio.
Now onto the “Hard” Part: Our Behavior
Now we’re going to focus on the skills and techniques to stay wealthy. Oh yeah, that’s the hard part of maintaining a certain lifestyle – our behavior. Our behavior determines our success more than any other factor, in every area of our lives—including our wealth.
Keeping ego out of your portfolio
A “high ego” portfolio is one where an investor gets to brag at cocktail parties, “My stock is up more than the S&P.” On the other hand, a lifestyle portfolio is a “no ego” portfolio. The “brag” for a lifestyle investor is much more subtle, powerful, and accessible: “The cash flow off of my portfolio exceeded my spending needs!”
Lifestyle portfolios typically have blue chip, mature investments that produce sustainable cash flow year-in and year-out, regardless of economic conditions, technological disruption, policy changes or other external factors. For example, in the midst of the COVID lockdown, several iconic dividend growth companies actually increased their cash dividends to shareholders.
Few people brag at cocktail parties about their shares of seemingly unsexy, blue-chip companies. In fact, that gives us a great idea…Monument Wealth Management can throw a ‘no ego cash flow party’ so we can all attend and break the mold of cocktail party chatter. We’ll work on that. Stay tuned.
Focusing on your unique needs
It’s imperative for a business owner to transition from following through on a business plan to following through on a personal wealth plan…or more specifically, a Monument Private Wealth Design – a living blueprint and action plan for enjoying and maximizing the sale of your business on YOUR terms. Otherwise, what was all the hard work for? A Monument Private Wealth Design will go beyond the numbers to provide you true clarity on your big picture and a sense of security through a joint strategy, vision and cohesive plan. You know, all the, “One day, I will…” stuff. It’s all those things you dreamed about when you initially started the business.
Your Private Wealth Design will have both flexibility and optionality… The flexibility to choose investments that meet your needs rather than investments that are most suitable for index inclusion, and the optionality over whether to buy or sell that index or strategy, rather than leaving that decision to the preset rules of index (and ETF) construction methodologies. More importantly, you’ll need know that each investment fits your plan— always remembering that you’re playing your own game…not someone else’s.
A Monument Private Wealth Design will customize and bullet-proof your post-business sale investment portfolio, ensuring you’re working with a collaborative Team—a “collective mastermind”—to seamlessly integrate your whole wealth picture. Work with us to choose investments that meet your dual mandate of growth and inflation-indexed cash flow, while retaining the optionality and flexibility to make those kinds of investments whether or not they are in an index.
See you at the cash flow party!
IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Monument Capital Management, LLC [“MCM”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.
Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from MCM. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. MCM is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice.
A copy of MCM’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.monumentwealthmanagement.com/disclosures.
Please Note: MCM does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to MCM’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.
Please Remember: If you are a MCM client, please contact MCM, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.