Retirement Ready Income Programs

Fundamentals of Golf and Investing: Back to Basics

Submitted by Steve Selengut | RSS Feed | Add Comment | Bookmark Me!

Is it luck or skill that gets us to the goals and objectives we set for ourselves--- gimmicks and software programs or practice and understanding? How many golfers are still using the putter they started with decades ago at a nine-hole cow pasture? How many of you are still bouncing between investment gurus and hedges in your search for the investment holy grail?

The best athletes come to the competition with sound fundamentals, well thought out objectives, and the discipline to hone their basic technique with countless hours of practice. The most successful investors come to the process with sound fundamentals, realistic goals and objectives, and a consistently applied discipline that embraces the cyclical nature of markets and economies.

Discipline is an ingredient in most long-term success recipes--- business, sports, relationships, politics, veal scaloppini, etc. Well, maybe not politics. There are "fundamentals" involved in each.

Favorite foursome conversations provide clues to the particular fundamental that just failed you, as your duck-hooked tee shot comes to rest at the base of the dead pine tree, and possibly, just beyond the white stake. "Have you weakened your grip?" comments Larry. "Nah, he was lined up that way; went right where he aimed it," Curley offers.

"Might have worked out just fine if he hadn't picked his head up so soon," spouts Moe. "What are you guys talking about? I was set up to fade the ball but I swung way too hard at the bottom and closed down the club face," you bark as you tee up a provisional.

Grip, alignment, focus, target, and tempo--- some major golf fundamentals.

During the cocktail hour at monthly AAII and NAIC meetings, or around the country club bar, you might overhear some of these: "I can't afford to play a lot of golf anymore. My junk bond fund has reduced its payout to barely 2%." Yeah, my retirement plans have been put on hold too. I lost 60% of my net worth when the government killed Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual."

"I was counting on my short-term Munis, CDs, and T-Bills to provide enough income to pay the bills, but the yields have gotten so low." "Two years ago, my portfolio was worth twice what it is today; if only my advisor had taken the profits when we had them, and added to the income bucket of the portfolio."

Quality, diversification, income, asset allocation, and profit taking--- some biggies in investing.

Surprisingly (or perhaps not), it is more likely that the newbie or high-handicap golfer will seek help with the game's fundamentals than it is for the new or inexperienced investor to spend moment one on the basic concepts of investing. Serious amateur golfers work at their game constantly; amateur investors seriously avoid the work required to fine-tune their expectations.

Neither seems capable of avoiding an endless parade of props, programs, and short-term panaceas as they make their way around and through the hazards that torment all levels of golfer and investor from the very beginning of their quest for brilliance.

A round of golf has its ups and downs, hot streaks and bad breaks. Investing has its rallies and corrections, scandals and frauds. Why are these two frustration producers so popular?

Fundamentally speaking (but not analyzing), investors need to wrap their heads around an asset allocation formula that is most likely to get them to a comfortable nineteenth-hole lifestyle. Golfers need to wrap their hands around their clubs in a manner that will help them get to shorter term targets often enough to keep their Nassau partner smiling.

A properly aligned investment portfolio will be constructed with regular income producers and equities expected to have capital gains potential. Each are viewed differently in terms of time and distance. Golfers attempt to align themselves in a manner that will get them to the safest and most opportune position for the shot that comes next.

A golfer without a clear target for every full swing, chip, and putt will be thrown off course more often than not, gaining only the exercise value. Similarly, an investor who fails to set multiple targets (at least three: buy more, sell, and yield) for every security will fail to gain full value from the investment exercise.

To be successful at either requires patience, reasonable expectations, and a mastery of the fundamentals. With that in your bag or briefcase, you'll be prepared to follow in the footsteps of the Great One's fundamentals coach and say:

"Hello ball."

Retirement Ready Income Programs
2971 Maritime Forest Drive
Johns Island, SC 29455
Phone (800) 245-0494 • Fax (843) 243-8509
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Please read this disclaimer:
Steve Selengut is registered as an investment adviser representative. His assessments and opinions are purely his own. None of the information presented here should be construed as an endorsement of any business entity; the information is only intended to be educational and thought provoking.

Please join the private article mailing list or Call 800-245-0494 for additional information

Risk Management: Income, 401k, and IRA Programs

Take a tour of a professional investment managers' private SEP IRA program during ten years surrounding the financial crisis:


In developing the investment plan, personal financial goals, objectives, time frames, and future income requirements should all be considered. A first step would be to assure that small portfolios (under $50,000) are at least 50% income focused.

At the $100,000 level, between 30% and 40% income focused is fine, but above age 50, the income focus allocation needs to be no less than 40%... and it could increase in 10% increments every five years.

The "Income Bucket" of the Asset Allocation is itself a portfolio risk minimization tool, and when combined with an "Equity Bucket" that includes only Investment Grade Value Stocks, it becomes a very powerful risk regulator over the life of the portfolio.

Other Risk Minimizers include: "Working Capital Model" based Asset Allocation, fundamental quality based selection criteria, diversification and income production rules, and profit taking guidelines for all securities,

Dealing with changes in the Investment Environment productively involves a market/interest rate/economic cycle appreciation, as has evolved in the Market Cycle Investment Management (MCIM) methodology. Investors must formulate realistic expectations about investment securities--- by class and by type. This will help them deal more effectively with short term events, disruptions and dislocations.

Over the past twenty years, the market has transitioned into a "passive", more products than ever before, environment on the equity side...  while income purpose investing has actually become much easier in the right vehicles. MCIM relies on income closed end funds to power our programs.

To illustrate just how powerful the combination of highest quality equities plus long term closed end funds has been during this time... we have provided an audio PowerPoint that illustrates the development of a Self Directed IRA portfolio from 2004 through 2014.

Throughout the years surrounding the "Financial Crisis", Annual income nearly tripled from $8,400 to $23,400 and Working Capital grew 80% $198,000 to $356,000.

Total income is 6.5% of capital and more than covers the RMD.

Managing income purpose securities requires price volatility understanding and disciplined income reinvestment protocals. "Total realized return" (emphasis on the realized) and compound earnings growth are the key elements. All forms of income secuities are liquid when dealt with in Closed End Funds. 

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Please read this disclaimer:
Steve Selengut is registered as an investment advisor representative. His assessments and opinions are purely his own and do not represent the views of any other entity. None of his commentary is or should be considered either investment advice or a solicitation of business. Anyone seeking individualized investment advice should contact a qualified investment adviser. None of the information presented in this article is intended to be or should be construed as an endorsement of any entity or organization. The reader should not assume that any strategies, or investments mentioned are any more than illustrations --- they are never recommendations, and others will most certainly disagree with the thoughts presented in the article.