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Decisions vs. Outcomes

Decisions VS Outcomes

Process.

Process is important to us here at Monument and it should be important to you, too.  Processes are especially important in the financial advice world because decisions cannot be justified merely because they worked.

Why? Because outcomes are not always a validation of good decisions.  

Take speeding, for example.  Just because you sped from D.C. to Miami without receiving a ticket or getting into an accident, it does not make that decision a good one.  The reality is that you increased the probability of a bad outcome…it just didn’t happen.

Another way to look at this is by considering how casinos operate. They make money because the odds are stacked in their favor over the long-run.  There are opportunities for people to make stupid, low-probability bets on every game of chance on the casino floor—and every now and then they pay off big to the gambler.  But hitting that winning outcome does not mean it was a good decision for the gambler.

While the casino obviously cares about outcomes, they know that it’s the process that assures their financial success over time. They know that if they have a good process, good outcomes are “earned success” and bad outcomes are simply “bad luck.”

What about having bad processes or no processes?  Well when a bad/no process results in a good outcome, that’s just plain old “good luck.” When a bad/no process results in a bad outcome, that’s what some would call Karma or “just punishment.”

The world of investing is one of ambiguity.  Of uncertainty.  What happens in the market is out of everyone’s control—including ours.  Especially ours.  What is in our control is our process.  Just like the world a casino lives in, the odds are stacked in our favor as investors.  According to a Morningstar report dated December 31st, 2014, 94% of the rolling monthly 10-year returns from 1926-2014 are positive.

Just like the casino doesn’t win every hand, neither will our clients or our readers (we call them “future clients in waiting”).  Casinos and Monument know we will experience some bad outcomes despite having a good process.

It’s easy to get all wrapped around the axle on investment outcomes we don’t have any control over…both the winners and the losers.  That’s a natural reaction.  But remember that it’s the process that we have the most control over.

If you are reading this and feel like the process is not your focus or your current advisor’s focus, please reach out to me directly— we can help.

Keep looking forward,

Dave

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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 Wealth Management), 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. All indexes referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. The economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted. 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 Monument Wealth Management. 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. Monument Wealth Management 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 Monument Wealth Management’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

David B. photo

David B. Armstrong, CFA

President & Co-Founder

Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good....

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IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance is no guarantee 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 [“Monument”]), 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 Monument. 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. No amount of prior experience or success should be construed that a certain level of results or satisfaction will be achieved if Monument is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Monument 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 Monument’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: Monument 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 Monument’s website 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.

Historical performance results for investment indices, benchmarks, and/or categories have been provided for general informational/comparison purposes only, and generally do not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, the deduction of an investment management fee, nor the impact of taxes, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical performance results.  It should not be assumed that your Monument account holdings correspond directly to any comparative indices or categories. Please Also Note: (1) performance results do not reflect the impact of taxes; (2) comparative benchmarks/indices may be more or less volatile than your Monument accounts; and, (3) a description of each comparative benchmark/index is available upon request.

Please Remember: If you are a Monument client, please contact Monument, 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.

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