illustration by Cait Jones
The future can be challenging. It shifts, changing course like a powerful river determined to run its course. Predicting the future has long been a point of interest for many. Shrouded in scarves and secrecy, mystical figures have poured over crystal balls promising riches and happiness out of the mist. Though fascinating, these old-world predictive methods have no place in your financial plan.
Investments are long-term commitments that almost force a leap of faith. They require patience, determination to see the plan through and, most importantly, trust in the professional managing your money. These professionals may not be able to sift through tea leaves to determine the future, but they can help establish your financial future with each investment made.
The world of investments can feel daunting. Just like any plan that involves decades of preparation, it can seem like there is too much to consider. However, that is where a professional in the investment industry comes into play. Frank Bevilacqua II is a certified financial planner and co-founder of the local wealth management company, W3 Wealth Management, LLC. He has had a long-term interest in investments that stretches back to his youth. “The thought of actually having your money work for you while you sleep always intrigued me,” he says. Citing a passion for the topic, Bevilacqua took the plunge into investments after working in the corporate world for a while. He found that helping people plan for their future was a great fit for him. “I know a lot of people struggle with [investments], so being able to help them with it is something I find pleasure and enjoyment doing.”
W3 Wealth Management has been around since 2004 and was built upon the principle of teamwork. “What makes W3 different is that we work with all our clients as a team—it’s not just one person working with a client. The client always has a couple people working with them at all times,” he says. Just as a baseball team has players that excel in particular positions, Bevilacqua says that his team is comprised of specialists. This doesn’t mean they cannot all give sound financial advice—every member of the best baseball team can still catch the ball and hit well—it simply means they know their strengths. For Bevilacqua, this is a winning formula. “By having a couple people working with each client, we bring a lot of different perspectives to the table,” he says. “It’s easier for us to grasp what the client’s looking for, and we can better serve their needs—more holistically—by having a team to help out.”
But what does this mean in the grand scheme of things? By working with a team, you can build your financial plan to the fullest. Many people realize that their investments are meant to be with them for the long haul. These are the funds that will send you on adventures around the world, pay for the dream home you waited years to buy, or just help life be comfortable in retirement. Bevilacqua says that many clients understand the fundamental ideas behind their investments, but need a little guidance along the way. “They have basic knowledge, but they don’t have the in-depth knowledge needed for long-term investing for their specific needs,” he says. “It’s easy to go out and buy individual stocks, but it’s not the same when you want to build a portfolio where you’re going to rely on that for your income the rest of your life. It’s completely different.”
Planning for the future is more than just a wish-list of things you would like to happen. It is vital to know what is down the road on your financial journey. “Put together an investment plan where you’re going to be living off that money for the rest of your life,” says Bevilacqua. “That’s a completely different style of investing.”
Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your financial plan should likewise not be secluded to only one member of the family. Just as it is important to share details of your life plan with your entire family as each member grows and matures, the financial future is something to be shared. Bevilacqua advises that clients keep the family abreast of their plans in case of unforeseen situations. Though many families resist coming in to the office to go over finances, Bevilacqua enjoys educating them and helping them learn about their plan. “It’s so important, especially when people age, and you have to have other people know where all the money lies.”
As the years go by, things change. Goals shift, health rises and falls for many, and the plan must adapt. “We meet with clients regularly so we can review that plan to make sure that the way the money is being invested is still coinciding with what that plan’s goals were,” Bevilacqua says. “Life changes, so you have to change those plans.” Through conversations with family and financial planners, you can make the most of the years. Investments take time to mature, and during that time, the stock market can move up and down like a wild rollercoaster. Upward moments can be thrilling and full of promise, but when the car turns downward, there can be fear and uncertainty for riders. This is where an open channel of communication with your financial professional is vital. “We really try to focus on making sure our clients don’t shoot themselves in the foot or make mistakes they cannot overcome or fix down the road. Pulling out [during] the worst point of the market is one of those things we make sure our clients don’t do,” Bevilacqua says.
Staying faithful to the plan can be difficult at times, but it prevents investors from missing out on the long-term success of their investments. Bevilacqua asks his clients to keep him in the loop about their life, their worries and their thoughts so that the plan can be adapted without being abandoned entirely. “If an advisor doesn’t know of those changes [in life], they don’t know to change the investment plan to coincide with what’s changed in your life,” he says. “Don’t deviate from [the plan] just because the market’s down. Sometimes it might hurt, not making any changes to it, but stick to it. Stick to your plan and it’ll work out for you.”
Having financial faith takes a lot of trust. This can take years to develop, but it is an important element that can spell success in the long run. Investments can help to ensure an enjoyable future for you and family. Though the journey can be long, many who have stayed the course have found the rewards at the end of the trip. Take the time to research the best method for you—utilizing an investment professional for example—and formulate a plan that you can stand by. “Most people overlook the obvious, and they either don’t make a plan or they make it and forget about it,” says Bevilacqua. “The biggest thing is making a plan.”
Types of Investments
Companies in this sector deal in luxury items such as vacations and high-end electronics products that people want but might not necessarily need.
Food, clothing and other everyday items are the stock-in-trade of the companies that make up this sector.
These companies are not only those engaged in the actual production of energy resources, but also those that act in the service and management of those resources.
Financial companies include not only those that one would buy their stocks through, but also those dealing in banking, insurance and real estate development.
The business of well-being includes companies involved in both the production and implementation of healthcare products and services.
If a company is in the business of building, it’s likely an industrial. Products in this sector include those used in aerospace, defense, engineering and heavy machinery.
Information Technology companies deal not only in the creation of digital information, but also in its storage, security and exchange.
The companies in this sector oversee the processing and manufacturing of the wood, plastics, metals and other materials that everything we make is made of.
Investing in the real estate sector means investing not in housing itself, but in the stocks, bonds, securities and mortgages that grease the industry’s wheels.
Telecommunications companies not only provide telephone, wireless and data services, but also create the physical structures and devices necessary to keep those services going.
Running water, electricity, gas and air conditioning are but a few of the everyday conveniences provided and serviced by utility companies.
Learn more about the various types of investments by visiting www.fidelity.com/sector-investing/compare-sectors