Emotions and Investments

An Unhealthy Pairing

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The topic of risk is appropriate during this time as the market has been having some wild swings due to the current effects of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19. The fear is that this will affect supply chains around the world leading to lowered productivity and earnings. Markets do not like uncertainty which they have demonstrated recently with a very quick downward move of roughly 13% from recent highs. If we look back to other similar events in history, the market has always rebounded higher after the events – sometimes it has taken longer than others, but always it has recovered. Most analysts think this time will be no different. 

If you’re in your twenties to forties, you will look back on this time as a buying opportunity and should accept the risk along the way. If you’re in your fifties or sixties, you should already be in a hedged portfolio commensurate with you age and risk tolerance. Regardless of your age, your allocation should include diversification including stocks and bonds. The bonds will help mute volatility in uncertain times and provide interest income. Because current interest rates are very low, earned interest bonds is not that great, but again it’s a safe haven when there are large equity swings. The older you are, the less exposed to equities you should be, but you will still need some as bonds will not pay enough interest to keep up with inflation. 

In summary, keeping emotions out of the market is never easy to do and often results in poor decisions at the wrong time, like buying high and selling low. Having a broad-based diversified plan, sticking with that plan and contributing on a routine basis is vital to long term investment goals. Avoid your desire to go to cash during volatile times then trying to time when to get back into the market. This emotional tactic usually results in locking in your losses and the stress of uncertainty about when to get back into the market. If you miss even a few of the significant up days over time, your annualized returns will be severely impacted. 

SOURCEAero Crew News, June 2020
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Glenn Nevola
Current airline captain and also financial advisor specializing in providing financial assistance to fellow airline pilots in their pre and post retirement planning. Glenn Nevola has been an airline pilot since 1986 where his career started with People Express Airlines, which merged with Continental Airlines in 1987 and was then merged with United Airlines in 2010. He is currently based in Newark as a 737 captain. In addition to being a pilot, he operated the financial arm of a real estate firm that purchased, renovated, rented, marketed, bundled and sold to investors over a 12-year span. He was personally responsible for over 300 closing during that timeframe. More recently he was a former financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in NYC where he acquired his Series 7 and Series 66 licenses. He brought over to the firm a concept and business model that would assist retiring airline pilots with post - retirement wealth management. This was, in part, augmented by the fact the mandatory retirement age was recently changed from age 60 to age 65 for commercial airline pilots. When Morgan Stanley hired him, the oldest of these pilots were then approximately 63 years of age. His unique position of living in both worlds – flying and finance - provided him the ability to market to his niche in direct target marketing from one of their own. He also has skin in the game, as he is a pilot, who participates in the retirement plans on which he advises and as such is in similar models as many of his clients. As time went on at Morgan Stanley a decision was made, based on many factors such as compliance restrictions, inability to market and assist younger pilots with their desire for 401(k) management and general restrictions on building out the business model, to split off and create his own financial services firm, Flight Line Financial, LLC (FLF) – a registered investment advisor based in NJ. FLF is also licensed in NJ for insurance enabling the firm to provide annuity counseling. This created a win - win scenario for further growth by allowing FLF to focus on 2 distinct groups of pilots – younger pilots, less than age 59 ½ and older pilots over age 59 ½. For the younger group, FLF provides asset allocation strategies incorporating diversification, dollar cost averaging and rebalancing options to pilots for a flat annual fee. Also discussed with this group includes topics such as Roth vs. non-Roth, 529’s, max contribution limits, 415 (c) limits, spousal accounts and other general financial topics. For the older pilot group, FLF has affiliated with a leading wall street firm for post-retirement financial planning. Wealth management services provided include many aspects such as creation of post retirement financial distribution plan, trust and estate planning, diversification, allocation, hedged equities, bond structuring, long term care, etc. The firm FLF is affiliated with has been in the wealth management business since the 1970’s and manages over $2 billion in assets from individual investors. Glenn has the unique position of living in both worlds – flying and finance. He interacts with his target market every time he is at the airport or on a trip. In numerous businesses, owners pay substantially for leads in their specific target market, such as mailing lists, calling lists, email lists, etc. Additionally, servicing the younger pilots creates pipelines for future rollovers. Currently FLF manages approximately $250 million in assets across approximately 200 clients.

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