There is only one question you need to ask in order to know whether or not we are doing our job properly, and furthering you along toward meeting your financial goals.
Are we following our process?
2019 was a terrific year in the investment markets. Our All-Weather Balanced Composite returned 18% and our All-Weather Growth Composite returned 20% (see Balanced.pdf and Growth.pdf). As a result, recent comments from a few clients have generally run along the line of, “great job.” While we are always appreciative of feedback, there is an important point to stress regarding last year’s results.
We actually did do a great job. But not in ways that you might think. We did a great job because we followed our process and executed our program and discipline properly, exactly as we should have. You should expect no less. The year-end portfolio results are simply a good outcome resulting from executing our process.
Don’t confuse outcome with process. Outcome is the result of process. And to help ensure long-term success, a good process is an absolute requirement.
You see, no one can really control the outcome on a short-term basis. Nick Saban can’t control who wins any given Alabama football game. He can however control his process (recruiting, practice, etc.). And he does. And his teams usually do win.
Over time, a good process implemented with discipline is by far the best card to hold.
I can tell you that not everyone enjoyed the results of last year’s good markets. Those flying by the seat of their pants had ample opportunities to get shaken out. Many did. No process. No discipline. No gains.
Good long-term results – crucial for reaching your financial goals – are best realized by letting process and discipline work. Easy to say. Sometimes hard to do. But always non-negotiable.
Ignore everything else.
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About the Author
Joseph “Bo” Billeaud is the founder of Billeaud Capital Management. After earning a BS in Chemical Engineering (University of Louisiana, 1979) and while working in industry for seventeen years, Bo developed the market risk-control models and investment philosophy that undergirds all BCM portfolios. Since effecting a formal career change in 1996, Bo has helped BCM grow into a respected asset management and financial planning firm currently overseeing $400+ million dollars for individual, corporate, trust, retirement and 401(k) accounts…. Read more.