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How many kernals are there on an average ear of corn?

Find the answer below.
Growing your investment portfolio, one kernal at a time
      Back in April, my wife and I went to my families farm in Henderson, NC to help plant the corn crop.  This was my wife's first experience working on a farm and the first time a Burgess female had driven a tractor.  My Dad and Granddad agreed to fertilize and water the crop and said it would be ready to harvest in 3 months.  When we returned last weekend, we were overwhelmed at how much corn had grown.  Although my city bride and I had to shuck, cut, silk, blanche, and package truck loads of corn most of the weekend, we appreciated the process after making some money selling our popular corn by the dozen at the Vance County Farmers Market!
        Many of you can probably relate to farming and I'd like to point out the similarities of this process to that of saving and investing.  The first and most important step is just to get started. Start by getting your hands dirty and plant a seed.  In other words, do a little research and agree to set aside a percentage of your pay check each month.  Next you need to determine your time horizon before you need to harvest. How long do you have to save before you retire?  This allows you to determine how much to save, or how much fertilizer and water will be needed to grow your crop.  It is important to monitor the weather forecast (economic conditions) in order to make changes to your crop (rebalance) on an ongoing basis.  Once you retire, hopefully your hardword will have produced a nice yield.  This is why it is nice to have an experienced farmer, or investment advisor, monitoring your crop!
Profile of a Successful Investor by Ron Copley, Phd, CFA
      This following link is to an article written by Ron Copley, Principal of CIM.  It gives a great picture of what it takes to be a successful investor.  You may be surprised that it doesn't include a career on Wall Street or even reading the Wall Street Journal everyday.

Dollar Cost Averaging: How to turn your fear of losing money into your advantage
       Investing in the stock market is not for the faint of heart.  The thought of putting hard earned savings into a portfolio of stocks and bonds and it possibly losing value in a short period of time can deter investors from being patient and miss out on the potential historically long-term gains of stocks and bonds.  It's worth mentioning that ALL investments are susceptible to risk, even bank accounts insured by the FDIC are at risk of being eaten up by inflation. So what option do you have if you have a low risk tolerance? Luckily, there is a more conservative approach to investing for long-term gains above the rate of inflation and its called Dollar Cost Averaging, or a constant dollar plan.  DCA is a simple but powerful strategy by which you consistently invest the same amount of money into the same investments each month or quarter.  This plan automatically insures that you will buy more shares at lower prices and fewer shares at higher prices. Sounds too good to be true, right? Here is an example:

August -       buy $100 of ABC stock at $20/share = 5 shares
September - buy $100 of ABC stock at $10/share = 10 shares
October -      buy $100 of ABC stock at $5/share = 50 shares
November -  buy $100 of ABC stock at $25/share = 4 shares
Total shares owned = 69
Average Price Paid/share= $5.80

Using DCA in this example, you would own 69 shares of ABC at an average price of $5.80 compared to paying $20 per share for 20 shares in August.  This lower risk investment plan of easing into the market despite share prices works best when implemented with diversified investments in a tax deferred retirement plan like a 401k or IRA.  Using dollar cost averaging, you might even smile when see the market had a down day!

Trivia Answer: The average ear of corn has16 rows with 40 kernels per row totaling 640 kernels per ear.

I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter.  Feel free to contact me with any questions and topics of interest for next months newsletter. Thank you.
Picture of JB
Justin Burgess
Investment Advisor
Copley Investment Management
5025 B Wrightsville Ave
Wilmington, NC 28409

CIM's goal is to provide quality financial advice at an economical cost. Whether investing for retirement or the next generation, you can rest assured that we are paying attention. Our professional credentials, independence, experience, integrity, and transparent business model qualify us to accomplish this goal.

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