Partners & You
“Spiritual health and material well-being are not enemies: they are natural allies, Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful”
– E.F. Schumacher
Our form is corporate, but our attitude is partnership. We think of our clients as owner-partners and of ourselves as managing partners. We invest alongside our clients and would not recommend investments we are not willing to own. Most importantly, we do not view the company itself as the ultimate owner of our business or investment assets, but as the conduit through which our clients own the assets, and of which we are thoughtful stewards.
Equanimity’s culture is focused on the client’s experience, not on the competition or the profit/loss statement. We are chasing the vision, rather than chasing the money. Our vision for you, the client is the same: To enhance your peace and your joy as a means to successful living.
From the beginning of recorded history, savings have never failed to bedevil their owners. What is the highest and best use? How do we care for it, secure it, nurture it and grow it? Such questions have consumed our attention since before the invention of coinage.
A Plan That's True
In order to serve as thoughtful stewards of your savings and capital, we must first seek to learn what are the things that bring you peace and joy. Understanding the elements of your well-being allows us to ask how we might preserve or enhance this. What do those things cost? How can we, to the best of our ability, ensure that these most important activities or goals are funded, realized, or secured?
To save and invest successfully requires that we fully embrace the context of how these precious savings are to be employed. It is imperative that we should follow sound principles of financial management, but before embarking on that journey, we must set our targets, and monitor our progress.
“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come”, writes Milan Kundera in the Unbearable Lightness of Being. And it is for this reason that sound planning remains flexible: clarifying and adjusting to old or new ideas, goals, or targets regularly. The overarching goal remains the same: for you to live your one best life. This is real financial planning.
Investment Planning & Portfolio Management
Cultivating success in any endeavor requires cultivation of the right habits. Habits of thought and habits of action which are suited to the challenges at hand. Sure, a little luck is nice, too. As with so much in life, success in personal finance & investing requires that one create the mental habit of thinking calmly and from the vantage point of greatest mental clarity.
Oh, but the world is a noisy place. Nowhere is this more true than the intersection of money and human desire. That is to say, markets. This fact was once quite evident in the old “open outcry” trading pits, thick with frantic energy and filled with screams of joy and despair. Here we had a living and faithful representation of the noisy conflicts that surround money and its successful employment.
Now algorithms do the bidding with a barely audible hum of the mainframe. And though the “noise” has changed form, it exists at a previously unimagined scale. In order to think clearly, then, we must quiet the noise.
“The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook”, William James reminds us. Here is a start.
We do not have to enter every dance hall. Many investors have shown us the process and methods of sound financial management.
When such an investment process is implemented in support of your financial goals, your financial plan and in the service of that which brings you peace, joy and satisfaction, we are already on the path of financial success.
Risk Management in Life & Investing
Among the many deeper truths, we learn as we journey through life is that we cannot control outcomes. Our best efforts may influence the probability of a range of outcomes, but cannot with certainty lead us to the desired ones. Understanding this is why the management of risks — investing based upon probabilities — rather than desired outcomes — is necessary for avoiding costly mistakes, preserving capital, and for investment success over time.
Almost counterintuitively, alert investors soon learn that the greatest returns are a product of the management of “risks” rather than striving for “returns”. Because embracing uncertainty reduces risk, acknowledging risks keeps you, and the investment process, honest.
You will find that our firm, Equanimity Financial Partners, just as within our portfolios, harbors a healthy respect for uncertainty. This practice of focussing on probability has many benefits. But chiefly, it pushes us never to be satisfied with our conclusions. It keeps us moving forward to seek out more information, refining our judgments, and by extension questioning conventional thinking.
At its heart, investing is simple, and to make it seem anything but, with the frequent repetition of short-lived facts and data points, parroting of opinion, etc., is surely a conceit, and adds to the noise rather than reducing it. With this in mind, those who would argue that a running commentary obscures a discussion of the things that really matter, have a valid point.
As investors and managers of precious savings, we will, over time, have results which will exceed our expectations. Just as we will occasionally have disappointments, and we will try to be as candid in informing you about those as we are in describing the happier experiences.
It is, however, always worth remembering that long-term investors will benefit from a sinking stock market as much as a regular buyer of groceries will benefit from declining food prices. So, when the market drops — a feature of the markets rather than a flaw — we should not shed tears. It is most certainly an opportunity in disguise. It is good news for you and Equanimity Financial Partners.
Whether on the surface things seem rough, challenging or difficult, or whether they be smooth, calm and peaceful, our commitment to cultivate, maintain and enhance a calm state of mind gives us the best opportunity to listen more carefully and fully and with a clear focus on the most important elements, we stand the best chance to make sound decisions.