Mark D. Goldstein, CFP®
Certified Financial Planner
SAFE-Money Alliance

Pueblo Plaza Executive Suites
1100 S. Main, Suite 10
Las Cruces, NM 88005
(575) 556-2472

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7362 Remcon Circle
El Paso, TX 79912
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Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
(877) 442-0698 Toll-Free

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I consider myself a very (very!) conservative investor. I don't mind not making as much money as the market when it's going up, just as long as I never lose when it's down. In fact, I need to see my overall portfolio increase in value every year regardless of how the market performs.

You see, a 10% drop in value would drive me absolutely nuts and I'd feel ZERO sense of "victory" if I lost less than the overall market.

In other words, if the market tumbled 40% (like in 2008), should I feel good if I only lost 20%?

That makes no sense. I demand guaranteed protection against loss!

Okay, so maybe the market has been one of the best places to put money over the last 70 years. Does that mean... considering the challenges ahead... that we should automatically assume it will always be so in the future?

Sorry folks, blind faith and trust don't cut it anymore. The betrayal of our trust by the government, regulators, corporations and brokerage firms has taught us that much, hasn't it?

Perhaps not. People continue to be taken in by investment advisors with their impressive looking computer models, graphs, pie charts and all kinds of statistical references. Call me cynical, but I've come to the conclusion that most of that stuff is useless fluff designed to give investors the impression that they're dealing with an individual (or a company) of superior knowledge and intelligence.

In fact, it seems the more complexity the greater the investor's comfort level!

But friends, the way I look at it, future market returns are pretty much a series of random numbers. Some years they're positive, some years they're flat, and some years the numbers will be negative. That much I'm certain of.

You've heard the old adage, "buy low, sell high", haven't you? Well, let me ask you this: How do we actually know when we've reached the lows and the highs?

The answer is simple. We don't. Nor does anyone else, including the "experts".

Timing the market is an exercise in foolishness and the overwhelming research on this subject concludes that market timing success is mostly the result of random luck. 

So, given the uncertainty of stock market investing... and my absolute insistence on avoiding all market losses... while still participating in market gains... isn't it a wonderful blessing to have products and strategies today that satisfy both a desire for SAFETY and a need for GROWTH?

You bet.