Market insights and analysis

How dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions are performing in the current market environment

1st Quarter | 2024

Quarterly recap



Current market environment performance of dynamic, risk-managed investment solutions.

By Jerry Wagner

Summer is in full bloom. It beckons us with open highways and the thrill of new adventures. Families across the nation are gearing up for their much-awaited vacations. The two weeks surrounding the July Fourth holiday are the peak travel season. Indeed, according to AAA, we can expect more than 50 million people to embark on journeys of over 50 miles during this festive season.

This uptick in travel brings the vital role of defensive driving into sharp focus, ensuring safe and secure journeys for all. The National Safety Council (NSC) presents a compelling case for these precautions. It suggests that defensive driving courses can significantly cut the risk of accidents and injuries by up to 50%. This statistic speaks volumes. It demonstrates the power of being prepared and managing potential hazards proactively.

However, more driving usually means more risk. In response, many trusted health and safety organizations have offered up several defensive driving habits, including the 10 tips presented below. The habits mitigate risk and work to ensure safe travels. These practices remarkably parallel the principles of dynamic, risk-managed investing that we adhere to at Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd. (FPI).

Let’s explore these safety tenets and their correlation to our approach to ensuring the security and growth of your investments:

  1. Always wear your seat belt. Fastening your seat belt before starting a journey can help protect you in the case of an accident. This practice parallels our first line of defense in dynamic risk management. FPI’s active, tactical management approach acts like your financial seat belt, providing a safety net against unexpected market downturns. FPI designed this strategic measure to help shield your investments, much like a seat belt helps to protect a driver during unforeseen circumstances.
  2. Keep a safe following distance. Following at a safe distance from objects and other drivers can give drivers enough time to react and recover in the event of an accident or other dangerous situation. In the investment landscape, FPI created custom benchmarks in our OnTarget Monitor (see sample below) to act as a guide to maintain a safe distance from risk. Before you invest, you should have a clear goal and a realistic benchmark that reflects your risk tolerance and time horizon. The OnTarget Monitor helps you set and track your progress toward your goal. And by adjusting asset allocation according to market conditions and providing suitability-based strategies, we provide your portfolio with space to breathe and recover.
  3. Scan the road ahead and behind you. Constant vigilance is critical both on the road and in the financial markets. My father taught me this lesson when I was learning to drive. “Constantly use the rearview mirrors,” he would often say. “You should always know the position of every car around you.” FPI’s strategies are rigorously backtested. They look in the rearview mirror at past market prices to prepare us for future market events. We learn from past market trends while proactively anticipating future investment opportunities and risks, guiding your portfolio.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings. Drivers must be mindful of their surroundings to react appropriately. For the same reason, FPI factors the broader economic landscape—including economic indicators, geopolitical events, and sector trends—into our investment decisions. This consideration allows us to optimize the positioning of your investments within the dynamic global market.
  5. Avoid distractions. On the road and in investing, distractions can lead to costly mistakes. “Hot” investment trends or panic-inducing news can distract investors from their long-term goals. Our dynamic, risk-managed strategies and turnkey, multi-strategy portfolios can help both you and your financial adviser maintain focus on long-term investment goals, helping avoid such pitfalls.
  6. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In investing, as in driving, it is important to make decisions with a clear head. Investors under the influence of extreme emotions, such as fear and greed, may make hasty and regrettable decisions. FPI’s active investment approach includes systems and strategies that remove these emotional biases, ensuring lucid, data-driven decisions.
  7. Follow traffic laws. Just as traffic laws are designed to keep drivers safe, investment regulations and financial principles (the traffic laws of the financial world) are created to keep investors safe. At FPI, we adhere strictly to these regulations and principles. Our goal is to continuously manage your investments with the highest legal and ethical standards in alignment with market norms and regulations.
  8. Stay focused on your driving and the road. Staying focused allows drivers to assess conditions and act accordingly. Similarly, our Illustration Generator (available to financial professionals only) helps you and your financial adviser explore the right portfolio strategies for your individual situation. It emphasizes multi-strategy diversification and tactical adjustments according to market conditions and is designed to make sure your financial journey aligns with your personal and financial objectives. And for those who are overwhelmed by the process of building a portfolio on their own, we offer turnkey, multi-strategy portfolios that are suitability-based and goal-centered.
  9. Always keep an eye on your surroundings and scan far ahead. In driving, this means constantly scanning near and far for signs of trouble. In investment, it means regularly reviewing your portfolio and keeping an eye on emerging trends and potential investment opportunities. Our tools and strategies are designed to facilitate ongoing market analysis, aided by daily account monitoring and weekly strategy updates available on the Flexible Plan Investments and OnTarget Investing websites. Furthermore, in this era of artificial intelligence, the majority of our strategies already automatically adapt as market conditions change.
  10. Always try to anticipate possible risk. As I often say, “Risk is always with us.” Our Crash Test Analyzer (available to financial professionals only) plays a crucial role in watching out for risk. Just as drivers anticipate potential road hazards, we stress-test portfolios for various scenarios, continually evaluating potential market risks. This proactive identification and mitigation of risk aids in minimizing losses and maximizing returns.

Just as defensive driving habits are designed to keep you safe on the road, dynamic, risk-managed investing at FPI aims to safeguard your financial future. Our principles mirror these driving habits, seeking to protect your wealth, provide stability, and navigate the intricate investment landscape with agility and foresight.

Following these 10 defensive habits, you can enjoy a safe and pleasant journey this summer and a successful and rewarding trip up the investment highway. Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., is here to help you achieve your financial goals with innovative and dynamic risk-management solutions.

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