Life Goes On

After this last year’s dismal returns on nearly all asset classes, jobs lost and business failures, going forward the investing world will be affected. Every investor needs to realize some basics. First, life goes on. Economic activity is always happening. Second, investments are merely tools to help support our lives – there is no perfect investment for every economic climate, so competent management is key. There will always be creative distraction and emerging growth areas to avoid or embrace. Third, even though the investment basics seem simple, they require consistent analyzing and monitoring.

At my investment firm FIM Group ( www.fimg.net) we believe the U.S. will have a slow-growth economy for some time. Worldwide, however, there will be areas of strength and growth like energy, health care, infrastructure and agriculture, especially in regions that are regarded as emerging markets. So as global managers we tend to invest in global companies involved in these industries. Going forward investors will need to be savvier or delegate their management to savvy global managers. At FIM Group we believe that indexing, or just buying the market, is illogical because all that’s available are crummy companies in crummy industries. Why own housing-related investments, retail, tobacco, old-economy manufacturing, banking, finance or alcohol makers when you can own good companies in sustainable industries?

Investors should seek a passionate investment manager who is ethical, honest, has at least 10 years of real money-management experience and loves investing. Don’t hire a firm that regards buying and selling mutual funds as management. Hire someone with years and years of real stocks and bonds investment experience. The Virtue of Wealth provides some guidance on finding a good manager (visit www.zenvesting.com)

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