The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

As New York Yankee great Yogi Berra once said, , “The future ain’t what it used to be.” Yogi Berra had a knack for saying things that are true but at the same time leave you laughing and scratching your head.  Like “It ain’t over til’ it’s over” and“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  It seems the older we get, the more we look at the past and how good we thought it was and how things today just aren’t the same.  I (Mark) agree with that to a certain extent and to another extent, maybe things way back when weren’t as great as we thought. 

Let’s face facts, first.  Many things really AIN’T like they used to be.  From a perspective of a man in his 50’s, I have recently wondered about a number of things and asked myself, “when did that all of a sudden change?”  Random inane things like, when did basketball players start slapping five with everybody after shooting a free throw whether they made it or missed?  We didn’t do that when I played.  In fact, I don’t think I would like that.  Especially, if I missed the first one.  Don’t slap five with me!  Leave me alone and let me shoot my second shot!   When in professional baseball games did they start counting pitches?  How do they know that when you hit a 100 or so pitches that your arm will fall off? 

While it may be true that “things ain’t like they used to be,” we must realize that things in the past weren’t always rosy.  We remember happy positive things, but the fact is that our parents and grandparents struggled with some of the same challenges we face.  Things like making a living, putting food on the table and taking care of our families.  One of the big ways things are different today is in the area of planning for retirement.  In the past you could work for a company your entire career, have a pension, health benefits, and be confident that Social Security would be there.  

My Grandpa Clair worked his entire career at General Motors and retired with financial security.  Things are different for many people in the work place these days.  Because of negative economic conditions, many workers who were relying on their 401k’s saw the balances severely damaged by the stock market collapse in the early 2000’s and again in 2008.   Additionally, many companies have downsized to leave workers out of work mid-career. 

It may be that Grandpa Clair had the advantage of career-long security by working for one company his entire career, but he had to get that job to begin with and he had to show up everyday and punch the time clock and do his work.  His generation also was faced with a World War that interrupted and seriously interfered with potentially successful careers.  

We now have a somewhat different set of challenges to face in our time.  What I have realized is that we can learn important things from those who have come before us to help us become successful in our endeavors.  Our parents and grandparents have set the example for us to follow of hard work, discipline, integrity, perseverance and sacrifice.  They told us to, “do the right thing,” “be a leader” and “work hard.”  Applying these lessons learned and combining it with today’s new technology and certain “action steps” will go a long way to helping us achieve our goals. 

There is also some good news, here.  The good news is “Things ain’t like they used to be!”  In some important areas things are actually much better.  Things like tools that are available now to manage your investment dollars.  There’s some nifty new technology called Riskalyze that finally defines and quantifies individual risk tolerance. Before, investors used words like “moderate” or “aggressive”  when describing risk tolerance, but the problem here is that these words might have different meaning from person-to-person, and could result in a portfolio that is not suited to your own risk tolerance. Now, Riskalyze helps us quantify your "Risk Number®" on a score of 0 - 100.

Riskalyze technology objectively calculates an investor's true risk tolerance, utilizing a scientific framework that won the Nobel Prize for Economics. This is easily the best technology we use in our practice and it gives our clients an edge in understanding risk.

As it turns out, the majority of people who come in to visit us having done the Riskalyze Quiz have more risk in their portfolios than they previously realized. Riskalyze technology empowers investors to make sure the Risk Number® of your portfolio matches your own personal Risk Number®. 

By utilizing the technology of today like Riskalyze and Risk Number technology, you can better put yourself in a position for a much higher probability for success so that you can experience your personal “retirement state of mind,” whether it is sitting on the couch, sitting on the beach or getting our there and focusing your energy on what is near and dear to your heart.  

Want to know your Risk Number®? The  first step is to take a 5 minute quiz that covers topics such as portfolio size, top  financial goals, and what you’re willingto risk for potential gains. Then we’ll pinpoint your exact Risk Number® to guide our decision making process. Click the button below to take the quiz.


Mark Clair