An Investing Wish List

By Terry Green, CFP ®, AIF ®

Every year we make a “wish list” of items we’d like for Christmas. Depending on how good we’ve been, we may ask for all sorts of things like jewelry, TVs, clothes, and even cars. You may know what others are asking for too, but have you ever wondered what an industry like Wall Street puts on their wish list?

Wall Street only wants one thing – for investors to keep doing what they’ve been doing. They would love for you to keep working with their product-pushing salespeople, trading their “recommended” stocks, and buying expensive mutual funds. Wall Street just makes too much money in the status quo. They haven’t exactly been a model citizen though. In fact, they have been quite naughty. Scandals, improper disclosures, fines, cover-ups, and suspensions headline the behavior on Wall Street. Certainly, they are not deserving of any gifts.

As the investment community let’s avoid giving Wall Street what they want this coming year. Show them that we do not have to put up with their lies, conflicts of interest, and expensive so-called advice. There are better ways to invest. The following is an overview of how to beat Wall Street at its own game. I call it my “wish list for the investment community”.

I guess you could sum it up by saying I want the investment community to buy and hold broadly diversified portfolios made up of no-load, low-cost index funds, and occasionally rebalance them. This is the key to successful investing. Funny, I never hear Wall Street tout this approach. Maybe they are just too busy thinking of new scams to keep Attorney General Eliot Spitzer busy.

Terry Green, CFP ®, AIF ® is an independent, fee-only financial planner with Blue Water Capital Management. He can be contacted at (858) 552-1488 or

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