Things I Believe (and how they were passed down to me!)

You have likely heard by now that the founder of Camelback Wealth Strategies, my father Bill Beamon, died on September 19, 2020. As I was going through his computer after his death, I came across a document that he wrote back in 1998. To the best of my knowledge it was never published. It was simply the statements that he lived by. He called it quite simply “Things I Believe”.

I found it quite interesting to read his thoughts. Instead of publishing them, he LIVED them. These were the values that I was raised on, the values my children were raised on, the values that shape our corporate philosophy to this day. The most interesting fact was that they were not “event” centered. They did not revolve around elections, or recessions, or current events. They are the timeless truths upon which a sound life and a sound investment strategy are built. Here they are, pretty much exactly as he wrote them over 20 years ago.

1. I believe that helping people to achieve their goals is the activity that gives me the greatest joy.

2. I believe that I must put the well-being of my client above my own.

3. I believe that the Christian concepts of life are the best guide to how I treat people and how I want to be treated.

4. I believe that I have a responsibility to educate my clients in such a way that they will be comfortable with risk and volatility.

5. I believe that we are responsible to help clients get their estate plan in order.

6. I believe that a part of financial planning is stewardship to help improve our world.

7. I believe that we should view our planning task as multigenerational. We need to build “generation spanning” wealth.

8. Our “Family Motto” has always been “We’ll Make It Work”. I believe that our clients need the assurance that our organization lives this “we’ll make it work” mentality. We need to instill in our clients the fact that we are worthy of the trust they have placed in us.

9. I believe that preserving the stability of the family is of the highest importance.

10. I believe that the financial planning process is one that demands my ongoing involvement to assist my clients to achieve their goals. This means ongoing strategic reviews of their assets and evaluation of their progress toward their goals.

11. I believe that for clients to achieve their lifetime goals we must allocate a significant portion of their assets into areas that have the historical probability of achieving results substantially greater than inflation. The only asset class that historically has achieved this goal are equity-based investments.

12. I believe that diversification of a client’s portfolio is of crucial importance. It is the only way that we may
a.Reduce volatility
b.Reduce excess exposure to out of favor sectors
c.Position their portfolio to take advantage of sector cyclical upswing

13. I believe that no single manager or firm will always be right, or that they will be able to be an expert in all market cycles. Therefore, I believe that we must allocate no more than 10% of a client’s assets to any one investment.

14. I believe it is my responsibility to make sure that a client’s asset allocation plan is truly diversified by capitalization size, sector, and investment style. This can, of course, adapted to current realities.

15. I believe that wealth is not in itself a goal. Wealth is, instead, a tool to achieve lifestyle goals. It carries with it the obligation to use the tool wisely and provides the opportunity to do so.

16. I believe that the most fundamental investment risk is not losing one’s money but outliving it.

17. I believe, therefore, that the only safety lies in assisting my clients to at least maintain, if not increase, their purchasing power.

18. I believe that the great long-term risk of stocks is NOT owning them.

19. I believe that everything you need to know about the movement of stock prices can be summed up in eight words: the downs are temporary; the ups are permanent.

20.I believe that what most people describe as a “bear market”, I would call a “big sale!”

21. I believe that dollar-cost averaging can make the dumbest person in the world wealthy.

22. I love volatility.

23. I am not afraid of participating in the next 25% downtick. I am afraid of missing the next 100% uptick.

24. I believe that, prior to retirement, people should own as close to 100% equities as they can emotionally stand. Then, after retirement, I believe they should own as close to 100% equities as they can emotionally stand.

25. I believe that in the short term, markets and movements are unknowable. In the long term, I believe they are inevitable.

None of these statements are guarantees of any particular investment outcome.

These are our beliefs, our statements of faith, that tomorrow can be better than today. Our nation may today be more divided than at any other time in our history since the civil war. However, these beliefs, these statements of faith, transcend all the noise, all the division, all the hatred and violence that is going on today. I believe these statements to be just as accurate today as they were over 20 years ago. Some things change. Some stay the same!