August 6, 2014

When Changes Make Sense

Ever find that one of your favorite apps from your Android or iPhone suddenly begins to act erratically immediately after you've accepted one of the many upgrades asked of you. You know the ones that court your favor with statements like “bug fixes” (makes mistakes sound cute) or other improvements which generally either don’t mean anything to you personally, or are simply requesting in opaque language their need to have control of your contacts list and your camera. Trouble is one only has to look at the current rating to affirm ones suspicions, and I use the rule that any app under a 4 rating is an app in trouble, there is such a thing as making one change too many.

Why bring this up? Especially when there is so much turmoil in the world and the stock and bond markets are reflecting the uncertain realities of investing in them? I invest with a strategy that seeks to recognize two factors that are out of my control, namely when stocks go up and when they go down. Without the benefit of that natural volatility I would never know how my strategies would have behaved through the years. Just as I believe there too many geeks writing too many lines of code to disrupt, rather than improve our phone apps, so too are many of the loudest members of my industry always focusing the interpretation for their stories rather than the other way around, by noting the facts.

The markets have a bit unruly lately and I admit that our news services would be boring if they used the same methodologies I use to find a silver lining in that distress, or maybe it would be a nice change of pace. But the reason I manage to a range of risk targeted asset allocations, aimed to deliver a competitive return in exchange for balanced volatility is because I believe that Federal Reserves unfinished business, the current political gridlock, or the disturbing Mideast and Ukraine distractions will more than likely find some resolution before merging into a new set of issues. In the meantime I won’t ignore the distractions but look to learn more how they affect interest rates, or the value of our currency or where there signs of weakness and strength in the economy are and decide if it fits into my current strategies, namely for growth, or if changes are necessary. Otherwise I prefer not to fix it, if it isn't broken.