Emotionally Intelligent Investing

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Most investors, including professionals, woefully underperform the indexes. This is because humans are hard-wired to make the same costly mistakes repeatedly. Ironically, attempts to “beat the market” sabotage long-term results. The errors are not due to analytical or quantitative miscues, but instead are emotional. Fortunately, there are ways to not only avoid these pitfalls but also use them to your advantage.

Avoid Costly Mistakes

In the National Football League, a team that has three turnovers in a game has a greater than 80% chance of losing. It’s not so much what a team does to win, but more about what they don’t do. A team that is average in all aspects but is superior at holding on to the ball will have a very successful season. A team that holds on to the ball and is good at taking it away will be championship caliber. 

In investing, the “turnovers” can largely be attributed to two emotions – fear and greed. These emotions seem strongest when the market is volatile or at extremes, both to the upside and downside. The chart below highlights the damage caused by these emotions. During the 20 years of the study, the average investor barely kept up with inflation. Over time, these results are disastrous to financial plans.

The most common and damaging mistakes include…

  1. Chasing the hot stock, fund, or market – Whether it’s fear of missing out or getting greedy about returns, everyone wants to own the stocks being bragged about in the news. It’s comfortable owning something that everyone agrees with. Comfort, however, comes at a high cost in investing. On the way to gaining popularity, investments generally become expensive, resulting in lower long-term returns. Changes in market sentiment can exacerbate this quickly. So, the question is, do you want short-term comfort from buying expensive stocks or long-term comfort from buying stocks that will generate attractive returns?
  2. Liquidating investments when the market is down substantially – The stock market is the one place where people don’t enjoy buying items that are on sale. It takes confidence and fortitude to buy when the news is bad, but remember when you buy equities, you are really buying the future stream of earnings. The lower the price you pay for that stream, the higher your eventual return. Inverse to example 1, going from poor to fair conditions can create a powerful tailwind for stock prices. Don’t let fear drive you out of the market when the opportunities are best.
  3. Choosing the wrong definition of success – What is your goal? Do you want to beat a benchmark or fund retirement? Prudent portfolio management is about providing the highest probability of reaching your goal, and if that goal is retirement, your portfolio should not be centered around obtaining the highest possible return. Attempting to beat a benchmark any given year can lead to excessive risk-taking and emotional whipsaws, meanwhile, that arbitrary benchmark might not even be best for your situation. Typically, the best strategy is to have an allocation that you can stick within any environment and that meets your long-term projected needs. Keep your focus on the long-term plan, not short-term performance. This plan should also address liquidity reserves. It is much harder to stick to a plan when you are forced to take distributions during a lengthy bear market.

“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”

- Warren Buffett

How to Excel at Investing

Here is one idea – Invest in a basket of index funds and periodically rebalance to your long-term target allocations. Rebalancing will force you to buy in down markets to prevent emotional selling, and it will force you to sell equities in strong markets. This simple strategy, while not perfect, will outperform most investors. This then begs the question, “If I do this, why do I need an advisor?” 

If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, perhaps you can do it on your own:

  • Can you properly diversify your portfolio?
  • Are you able to avoid emotional errors on your own?
  • Will you methodically rebalance your portfolio as it becomes misaligned?
  • Do you know how to proactively harvest losses for tax efficiency? (read more here)
  • Are you aware of financial planning and tax laws?
  • Do you have the skills and analytical tools to properly assess your portfolio?
  • Assuming you answered yes to all the above, do you want to spend your time doing this?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, don’t feel alone. Managing one’s own money will always involve some emotions, but the best investment strategy is a simple, repeatable, and disciplined process that will assist in overcoming emotional errors. Many asset managers outsource the management of their own money for that very reason. 

The cornerstones of North Point’s investment process include two rules to not only eliminate but also take advantage of these common fear and greed-based errors. First, monitoring relative valuations among the asset classes prevents us from chasing overly popular stocks, and second, rebalancing forces us to buy equities when the market is down and to sell when it is up. 

If you choose to hire an asset manager, make sure you understand the high-level plan and that they’re taking the time to explain what you can expect. Finally, let the process work. Short-term emotions should not trump your long-term plans.

 

Compliance Notes: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Rebalancing a portfolio may cause investors to incur tax liabilities and/or transaction costs and does not assure a profit or protect against a loss.

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Taylor Ewer

Staff Accountant

Taylor is a Staff Accountant at North Point Advisor Group. She holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Minnesota – Crookston and has 10+ years of experience in the accounting world. Experience ranging from Accounts Payable and Receivable, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Fixed Assets and Inventory Management. 

Outside of her professional role, Taylor is married with two daughters. In their spare time they like to go outdoors and spend time with family. They enjoy hiking, occasional camping, hunting/fishing and 4-wheeling.

Taylor's Walk-Up Song

Michayla Thielen

Administrative coordinator

Michayla is an Administrative Coordinator at North Point Advisor Group. She holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and has previous experience with trading and operations in the wealth management industry.

Outside of her professional role, Michayla enjoys dancing, baking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. 

Michayla hopes to use her diverse experience and attention to detail to ensure that our clients receive exceptional service.

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Paul Woita

CLU®
Senior Advisor

Paul works to both help our clients and team member’s meet their personal and professional goals.

Paul began his career in the financial services industry in 1979 after graduating from UW-Stevens Point with a degree in economics. His passion for education has continued throughout his career, most recently receiving the CLU® (Chartered Life Underwriter) designation, which further facilitates his dedication to life insurance and estate planning specialization. Paul has been married for over 40 years and has two daughters, and two grandchildren who he enjoys spending his free time with.

Paul’s Walk-Up Song

David Hopkins

CFP®, AIF®, RICP®, CEPA®
Chief Business Development Officer, Partner

David is both our firm’s Chief Business Development Officer and a Senior Advisor. David is passionate about growing our firm by working with clients throughout important stages in their lives. From college planning, to building a family, to retirement and everything in between, David services clients to work towards their goals.

David received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He also studied at The American College, where David earned his RICP® designation and completed his CFP® coursework. David is married and has two children. In his free time, David is a competitive golfer who enjoys the outdoors and a wide variety of sports.

David’s Walk-Up Song

Steven Hoffman

CFA®
Chief Investment Officer

Steve has over 30 years of experience managing money for financial institutions, non-profit organizations, retirement plans and individuals, and has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. The market’s unique blend of statistical and psychological influences sparked Steve’s passion from an early age. He combines this experience and passion with a heavy dose of integrity and listening to provide impactful experiences for clients.

Steve is most at home in nature, whether that is hiking, kayaking, boating, skiing, motorcycling or music festivals. Steve has two sons in their early 20’s and recently published a spirituality/self-help book entitled Clear Vessels-Live a Clear, Joyful and Guided Life.  

Steven Hoffman is solely an investment advisor  representative of Great Valley Advisor Group, and is not affiliated with LPL Financial.  Any opinions or views expressed by Steven Hoffman are his own and are not those of LPL Financial.



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Steve said he needs two songs because it is going to be a long walk!

Amanda Bryant

Director of Operations

Amanda Bryant is the Director of Operations at North Point Advisor Group. Amanda joined our team in 2016. She works closely with our advisors and staff professionals in a partnership to maintain a strong culture of compliance to regulatory policies. With a focus on internal organizational systems, Amanda enjoys the opportunity to make it possible for the advisors to spend less time on back-office tasks and more time with clients.

Amanda lives in Forest Lake with her son and husband where they spend the summers outdoors hiking, kayaking and swimming and the winters skiing, sledding and sipping hot cocoa.

Focus
• Organizational strategy
• Operational strategy and workflow integration
• Compliance development and implementation

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Heidi Steffen

Administrative Manager

Heidi has a BS in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University. Heidi is also licensed in life and health insurance. Heidi Steffen is the Administrative Manager and joined our team in 2021. She works closely with the Client Services team ensuring the North Point Advisor Group client services standard of excellence is met. As a member of the Operations team, Heidi works to assist in maintaining a strong culture of compliance, implementing company policies and procedures, and elevating company culture and morale

Heidi is married to her husband, Luke. In her free time, she enjoys spoiling her nieces and nephews, bow hunting and yoga.

Heidi's Walk-Up Song

Steve Sadecki

Accountant

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mankato State University. Steve’s experiences entail over 20 years’ experience handling accounting duties which include daily bookkeeping, payroll, benefits tracking, government filings, and preparation of financial statements.

Steve enjoys spending time fishing, hiking, golfing, and other outdoor activities in his free time.

Steve Sadecki and their Tax/accounting/CPA related services offered through North Point Accounting & Tax, DBA North Point Advisor Group. Steve Sadecki and North Point Accounting & Tax, a separate legal entity, are not affiliated with LPL Financial. Any opinions or views expressed by Steve Sadecki are his own and are not those of LPL Financial.

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Kennedy Johannsen

Accounting Paraplanner

Kennedy Johannsen started with us as an Accounting Paraplanner. Kennedy comes to us from WNB Financial as a Banking Specialist where duties ranged from maintaining relationships with key vendors, developing, implementing and monitoring electronic systems policies and procedures to processing ACH, wires and incoming and outgoing items. Kennedy has a Mathematics degree with a Minor in Psychology and has a love of excel spreadsheets!

As an Eau Claire native, she loves spending time outdoors with her dog Tater Tot, baking, doing crafts/DIY projects and has recently started growing her plant collection!

Kennedy’s Walk-Up Song

Jeffrey Kolodjski

AIF®
Senior Advisor

As a Senior Advisor, Jeff works with a specific emphasis in the areas of retirement income planning, wealth transfer, and overall client portfolio management. He also helps with group benefits, including group insurance planning and qualified deferred compensation plans.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Iowa State University and FINRA securities registrations through LPL Financial that include the Series 6, 7, and 63. In Jeff’s free time, he enjoys boating, biking, snowshoeing and neighborhood bonfires with friends and family. Jeff is married and is active in his local community.

Jeff’s Walk-Up Song

Matt Laciskey

CFP®, EA
Associate Advisor

Matt works with our clients to help them pursue their financial goals. Matt has a bachelor’s degree in financial planning and financial markets.

In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with family and watching baseball, hockey, and football. Matt also enjoys tasting craft beers from local breweries.

Matt Laciskey is solely an investment advisor  representative of Great Valley Advisor Group, and is not affiliated with LPL Financial.  Any opinions or views expressed by Matt Laciskey are his own and are not those of LPL Financial.

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David Guild

EA
Associate Advisor

David comes to us from Concord USA in the Corporate Finance Division. His duties ranged from tracking client projects and consultant data while ensuring accuracy, processing client invoicing and vendor payments to reviewing and processing documents, invoices and payments related to employee expenses. Before Concord, David was with Washington County and 3M as a Financial Analyst. With a Degree in Business Administration with a Finance Emphasis – David’s true passion lies in personal finance.

David is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys experiencing nature in any form possible. His favorites include fly fishing, camping, backcountry hiking, and recreational sports. As a former volunteer firefighter, David brings a strong desire to utilize his knowledge and skills to help others.

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Joel Spitzer

Client Services Associate

Prior to North Point, Joel worked for five years in banking as a Teller/Universal Banker. While in school he also worked at Starbucks and interned as a Judicial Assistant for Eau Claire County. Joel recently graduated from University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a degree in Finance and Political Science.

In his free time, Joel loves being outside and spending time with my friends. He enjoys hiking and is a “want-to-be runner.” He and his friends love trying new restaurants or recipes together.

Joel’s Walk-Up Song

Abbey Glass

Paraplanner

Abbey is a Paraplanner at North Point Advisor Group. She has over 7 years of experience in the financial industry serving in a client services capacity, coordinating with both Advisors and clients to provide outstanding service and care. Abbey is licensed in both life and health insurance.

Outside of work, Abbey has a very active family with two boys who participate in year-round sports. She also loves to spend time traveling, being on the water, and finding new trails to take her puppy on.

Abbey hopes to use her experience and astute attention to client service to ensure our clients are always at the forefront of exceptional experiences.

Abbey’s Walk-Up Song

Mathias Beck

Paraplanner

Mathias has a BS in finance from the Carlson School of Management (UMN-Twin Cities). Before switching to finance, Mathias studied mechanical engineering and worked in the PCL Lab as an undergrad research assistant.

In his free time, Mathias enjoys golfing, lifting, and fishing. He is also an avid fan of basketball and coaches a youth team within his hometown district. On the weekends you may find him at a basketball tournament or up north enjoying the great outdoors.

Mathias’s Walk-Up Song

Matthew Olson

Senior Advisor

Matt comes to North Point after serving and guiding clients in making sound financial decisions over the last 19 years.  By educating and simplifying the complex world of financial planning, Matt aims to bring a sense of security and comfort to his clients, while helping them to look to the future with hope and optimism.  Matt holds his Certified Financial Planner ®, Chartered Financial Consultant ®, and Retirement Income Certified Professional ® designations.  He graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN while majoring in Economics.

Matt is married and has two children and a high energy Australian Shepherd.   He enjoys watching his kids do what they love and in his free time spends time outside mountain biking and enjoying all that Northern Wisconsin has to offer.

Matt’s Walk-Up Song

Sheri Sorensen

Associate Advisor

Sheri is an experienced Financial Advisor and enjoys bringing peace of mind to businesses and families through sound financial guidance focused on client goals and values. Sheri received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from the University of WI-Stout and an Associate of Applied Science from Chippewa Valley Technical College. She also studied at the American College where Sheri earned her RICP® designation. Sheri holds her Series 6, 7, 63 & 66, life, accident, and health insurance licenses.

She is married and has 3 children. She lives on a family-owned beef farm and to re-charge, likes spending time in the outdoors, traveling, visiting national parks, hiking, spending time on a lake or beach and scrapbooking.

I believe the secret to a fulfilling life is to be grateful for all that you have and do something every day that makes you happy.

Sheri’s Walk-Up Song

Jason Kell

AIF®
Retirement Plans Director

Jason serves as Director of Retirement Plans for GVA Retirement Consultants and partners with corporate and non-profit executives to improve and manage all facets of their retirement plans. He has provided independent advice and fiduciary guidance to corporate and non-profit employers since 2004. His entire 23-year career has been exclusively focused on qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. 

He assists plan sponsors in fulfilling their fiduciary duties and improving retirement plan outcomes through a focus on liability control, plan committee and employee education, cost reduction, vendor management, and improvement of plan-related operations.

As an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, he possesses an extensive knowledge of the investment monitoring and management process. He is committed to being a lifelong student of the industry and pursuing positive outcomes through rigorous monitoring and service delivery to his clients.

Jason received his B.A. from the University of Delaware and enjoys coaching youth sports and spending time with his family.

Jason's Walk-Up Song

Mike Dolezal

CFP®, CEPA®
Chief Executive officer, Partner

As both our CEO and a Senior Advisor, Mike leads the team toward our long-term vision and works with a client base of business owners and high net worth individuals.

Mike has a BS in marketing from the University of Iowa and is a CFP® professional as well as Certified Exit Planning Advisor. Mike has his Series 6, 7, 63, and 24 licenses. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, and spending time at his family’s cabin. Mike is married with three daughters and is a proud board member for the Mahtomedi Area Education Foundation.

Mike’s Walk-Up Song