When should you trust in your investments?

Three good tips for investing your money: Trust the process, make smart decisions and ask for help or guidance.

STUDENTS WEARING face masks return to school at Gabrieli Carmel School in Tel Aviv in February. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
STUDENTS WEARING face masks return to school at Gabrieli Carmel School in Tel Aviv in February.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

September 1 marked the beginning of the school year. While my social media feed was full of pictures of children happily heading off to school with big smiles on their faces, my children apparently bucked the trend and weren’t too happy that vacation was over. 

Personally, I tend to lose sight of the fact that kids are kids and that they should act like kids. For some reason I had high hopes that this back to school season will be different and my children will turn into perfect students. They will get to school on time, do their homework without being asked more times than they are asked to clean their rooms, and that they will put down their assorted electronic devices in their quest for academic excellence.

They had a successful day one. So far so good. One of the more important lessons that kids should learn in school is to follow the process. That the hard work sometimes needed to come up with the correct answer is more important than the answer itself. 

While a student may get 100 on a homework assignment by copying someone else’s answers, they are short-changing themselves by not actually learning the material. 

 ONE OF the holiday’s most ancient and exciting customs? Tikkun Leil Shavuot.  (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90) ONE OF the holiday’s most ancient and exciting customs? Tikkun Leil Shavuot. (credit: GERSHON ELINSON/FLASH90)

Last week around the Shabbat table, we had a rather heated discussion about whether those learning Talmud in a yeshiva or seminary framework should use certain versions of the Talmud that basically explain everything in a simple fashion. My kids argued that was fine, but I argued that for youngsters who are spending all day learning, the process of breaking one’s head over the Talmud was a value and ultimately that is how one learns how to learn.

This week's Torah portion

In this week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, we read the famous verse, “Righteousness [Tzedek], righteousness you shall pursue so that you will live and take possession of the land that Hashem, your God, gives you” [Deuteronomy 16:20]. The famous question is asked why we need the repetition of the word ‘righteousness.’ 

Rabbi Yissocher Frand writes, “Rav Elya Meir Bloch interprets that ‘the pursuit OF righteousness must also be pursued WITH righteousness.’ We are not merely being taught to run AFTER justice. We are told to run AFTER justice WITH justice.”

He continues, “Many times we pursue that which is righteous and fair. Our goal is to ensure that what is right prevails. We are often tempted to let the ends justify the means. We may overlook the fact that we have to step on a few laws here and there as long as in the end ‘righteousness will prevail.’ 

‘We know unfortunately how many times throughout history the pursuit of justice was carried on with unjust ways. This has caused terrible destruction. The message of our verse is that we may not overlook unscrupulous methods to achieve lofty goals. Righteousness must be pursued WITH righteousness. Achieving tzedek in any other way is not tzedek.”

This applies not just to justice but in how we live our lives. A few months ago I met with someone who owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in both back taxes and personal loans. It turns out that she received an inheritance, and instead of paying off the loan and taxes, she stuck the money into a gemach (a free loan fund) which was being used to help pay for weddings for the poor. She was so proud of how she was helping out the poor, and I just shook my head.

When it comes to investing you need to trust the process. Denny Baish of Fort Pitt Capital group wrote, “In the world of investing, it’s common for some people to experience a bit of buyer’s remorse. Not the kind you get when you make a big Black Friday purchase, but the kind investors might experience during times of market volatility or turmoil.” 

He gives three tips:

1 ) Trust the process. It’s important to trust your investment strategy and do your best to tune out the talking heads that create fierce headlines and may strike fear or hesitation into an investor.

2) Make decisions when life’s circumstances change, not your emotions. It’s best to make allocation changes based on what’s changing in your life, and not your emotions. Some life events that could drive change include retiring, switching careers, expanding your family, or receiving a raise.

3) Ask for help and guidance. Part of having trust in your investment decisions is knowing exactly what they are. A financial advisor can not only help take some of the emotions out of investing, but they can answer any questions you might have along the way so that you know exactly what you’re investing in and what the strategy is to accomplish your financial goals.

Whether it’s improving academically, trying to perfect character traits or try to have a secure financial future, don’t get frustrated if you hit some bumps in the road. Remember: following the process is the key to success.

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates. Aaron Katsman is the author of Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing. www.gpsinvestor.com; [email protected]