Financial firms are a huge segment of the US economy. We are constantly solicited to let other people manage our money. It can be intimidating to manage your own money, but who else will care about it being safe more than you? We are fortunate that today trading costs are a fraction of what they used to be and high quality mutual funds and ETF’s are available for very small management fees. By not paying an additional advisor fee on top of these fees an individual investor actually has an advantage in total return.
It is also very easy to react to every news headline and let fear and greed guide you into making changes to your portfolio at the worst times possible. I am grateful to have stumbled upon the permanent portfolio, as a way to be protected in all economic environments, while still capturing impressive yearly market gains. The full strategy is outlined in Harry Browne’s book Fail-Safe Investing.
Outside of employing Browne’s permanent portfolio, the most important thing I have learned is it is far better to miss out on making money, than it is to lose money. By following these two maxims I sleep much better at night not worrying about my investments, something I never thought possible before.