Before I came to Seattle, I had the pleasure of working for an asset management firm with close ties to lead researchers, Nobel Prize winners and economic powerhouses. One day, a dear friend to many in the company passed away and I was amazed at the outpouring of respect and love. Gordon Murray left a legacy with his co-authored book, The Investment Answer, written during his battle with terminal brain cancer.
Instead of traveling the world or living out the remainder of his time on a beach or mountain, Gordon gave the world the gift of what he learned over 25 years working on Wall Street and consulting with financial firms. The book is a light read (around 68 pages) and can be very powerful for those beginning their investment journey. It simply outlines key decisions every investor needs to make on their path to investing.
If you view the market as your ally rather than an adversary that you must time and compete against, give the book a quick read. Gordon and his co-author, Dan Goldie, outline five considerations:
- Decide whether you’ll do it yourself or hire a professional investment advisor.
- Determine what asset allocation between stocks, bonds and cash is best for you.
- Evaluate what specific asset classes you’ll include in your portfolio, and in what ratio.
- Consider whether you believe you can strategically and consistently outperform the market or whether you believe obtaining the market return is most in your favor.
- Create an execution strategy around when you will buy and sell funds from your portfolio. (For example, will you rotate asset classes? Sell based on trend following dynamics? Periodically rebalance on a definite time frame?)
For a little more history on Gordon and why this book was created, check out this NY Times article.