An interview with Roger Davis on his" insider's guide to protecting and growing wealth."
It is said that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. Roger C Davis, a Registered Investment Advisor, is concerned that investors are setting themselves up for a fall similar to the 2008 market collapse. He has a message for these investors: “Wall Street’s Just Not That Into You.”
That is the irresistible title of his first book, which draws on his more than two decades of experience in the financial services business. He wrote it, first for himself (“I’ve always wanted to write a book, specifically, about investing successfully”) and also for everyday investors.
“The market conditions are very similar today to those leading up to the 2008-09 crash,” he said in an interview with Millionaire Corner. “”The drivers of the next cyclical bear market will be different than the previous crash, but the consequences could be the same.
“Equity markets are at the highest levels ever and investors have the same unprotected exposure to stocks and now bonds that they did leading up to the last crash. More than seven years later, people can ill afford another big setback.”
The recurring theme in the book is that “the market is utterly indifferent to the individual who participates in it.” “Wall Street’s Just Not That Into You” questions conventional “buy-hold-and-hope” investment wisdom and proposes, in part, a more effective strategy of tactical portfolio management and goal setting to produce “the consistent investment results that investors want and need.
Warren Buffett, for example, is often considered the exemplifier of the buy-and-hold strategy. Not really, Davis said. “Warren Buffett is in a class by himself. You can’t do what he does. You don’t have the money, the infrastructure, or the access that Warren Buffett has. He invests in a way that you and I can’t. Coca-Cola is one of his biggest positions. When Coca-Cola is considering what strategy to embark upon for the next couple of years, I have a suspicion that Warren is in on those conversations. If I’m a shareholder, they’re not calling me to ask what I think they should do about x-y-z.”
One chapter in the book contends that “over-diversification is overrated.” In the last two economic crashes, Davis said, “investors with a meaningful allocation of bonds saw a better performance than those who were just exposed to stocks. That led to the conclusion that a portfolio of stocks and bonds is safer in all market conditions than a portfolio only invested in stocks. That has been true in the last two corrections. It won’t be the case if we enter in an inflationary bear market, which we have not had since the 1970s. When—not if—that happens, investors will be very surprised and disappointed to see their bonds perform worse than their stocks, which will themselves perform very poorly as well. It’s important that investors, and those who advise them, have strategies in place that can perform well in whatever sort of market conditions exist in the future.”
Developing objective investment strategies, Davis said, is key to helping minimize the impact of emotional investing. “It almost always has a negative effect on returns,” he said. “I’m not immune to emotion or fear and greed. Left to my own devices, I’m just as prone to buy high and sell low as the next guy. A goal is to remove emotion from the process (which is difficult because) very few people were not negatively affected by the last crash. It doesn’t just affect our pocketbooks and retirement; it affects the way we feel and relationships.”
As a financial advisor, Davis said, the fundamental things apply. “My objective,” he said, “is to help my client distill down what is uniquely important to them so that even if market doesn’t exist to give you a magical retirement and is indifferent to your goals, I can take my client’s objectives and goals and, within the confines of current conditions, work to achieve them with minimal risk to principal.”
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.