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3rd Quarter Market Commentary

How to NOT Run Out of Money

One of the biggest concerns of most men and women in their 60’s involves worry about longevity and running out of money. “What if I out-live my money?”

Of course, that is a terrible prospect. We all want to live a long and healthy life. We eat right, workout and try to take care of ourselves. (At least that’s our plan.)

If our money doesn’t last, we might be forced to depend on others. Hopefully, we will have someone to turn to. As much as we don’t want to be a burden to our children, we may have to turn to them. But for some, there may be no one to help. If we fall into that circumstance, we face the prospect of living in our car, and eventually living on the street. Before losing our house, we may scrimp on health care, drop life insurance, lose health coverage, liability and casualty insurance, run up debt and be forced to eat whatever we can afford or can find. The more we think about those prospects, the uglier the options become.

So how do we manage to make our resources last?

Unless you have some significant wealth, the answer is simply proper money management. In fact, even if you have significant wealth, the answer is the same. Sport Heroes, Hollywood Stars, Entertainers and more have gained amazing wealth, only to see it disappear in lavish living and irresponsible money management.

The simple answer is to spend less than you make, build up capital and put that money to work to support you and those you love. Whether you are single or married, educated or not, the answer is the same. “It’s not what you make, but what you keep!”

Of course, we began this quarter’s commentary with 60-year olds. That’s usually when the question can’t be ignored any longer. But the answer to save and build capital ought to begin when you are in adolescence! Saving even modest amounts early in your life lets you harness the 8th Wonder of the World, compound interest. Growth over time can generate significant savings and even wealth.

Ok, so you didn’t save your paper route money or the money from your summer job. Who knows where the after-school money went? Then when you started working, you had a good time… and, the short of it is, you haven’t saved the money you need to support you into old age. You are not alone.

But, let’s skip the statistics about how many people who have not saved enough capital. It doesn’t matter how much company you have in your mistake. This is about you. What you did or didn’t do in the past doesn’t matter. That is history. Done. How can you start today to make a better future?

Here is the secret:


Figure out what you can afford. Open a Capital investment account & transfer the money once or twice a month to your Capital Account. If you have some savings or have a bonus, inheritance, or other seed money, dump it in for a good start. Those automatic transfers will begin your process of compounding. If you have a 401(k) or IRA put that money to work as well. Start with what you have and build.

So, what about the investments? If the investments go down in value, won’t that hurt your goal of having enough money to last? Maybe. However, the investment return is not as important as the savings accumulation. And, investments properly managed should grow.

Hopefully, you have some starting amount. An investment advisor might be able to grow your money. But, be suspicious. Many so-called advisors only put a drag on your money with their fee. They charge you an AUM (Assets Under Management) fee, but don’t really manage your investments. They put you in some fixed allocation and you get whatever the market gives you. They in turn, focus on the next prospect to add to their AUM, or spend their time marketing or doing tax returns.

You should look for an advisor who acts in your best interests. They should be paid in a way that when you make money, they do too. When you lose money, they do too.

Ideally, you may find a fiduciary who is committed to always do what is best for you, the client. You are not a means to fund your advisor’s income, vacation home or boat! You deserve their attention, their best efforts and expertise. They deserve reasonable compensation. And, it should always be a very small portion of the growth you enjoy. --Well worth the price.

So, forget about yesterday. Begin your savings and investing today. Find an advisor dedicated to truly manage your investments and do what is in your best interests. Remember, “Markets fluctuate, Integrity does not!”




David L. Harris, PhD, ChFC, CFP®
Wealth Advisor 

A Registered Investment Adivsor

(310) 318-3700


1 Roberts, Lance (2017, September 25). Dalbar 2017: Investors Suck at Investing & Tips for Advisors. Retrieved from

Harris & Associates is a Registered Investment Adviser. This commentary is solely for informational purposes. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Harris & Associates and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Harris & Associates unless a client service agreement is in place.

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