Dealing with the Certainty of Uncertainty

Uncertainty is always part of investing.

A key to positive results is how you plan for it and how you deal with it as volatility arises. For some investors, it may seem that the issues they face today are much more complex and daunting than those in the past, and in some ways that is true.

Although the specific questions and concerns you face may change over time, the timeless nature of uncertainty is why we encourage investors to focus on the basic question of, “what is your taste for risk?” We believe the biggest risk investors face is not a down market, but the risk not fully understanding their investment plans, which can lead to poorly timed decisions with potentially negative financial results – and more importantly, it can make a trying time even more challenging for a client.

Investment success is the result of both investment performance and investor behavior, and it's important to manage your portfolio’s short-term and long-term life goals so we can help you make decisions within the context of what's most important to you. Your “all-weather” plan is designed to be durable enough for the long-term, but also stable enough not to go off-course when times get tough. While each client’s plan is flexible enough to accommodate significant life changes, it will continue to be laser-focused on well-defined objectives.

Preparing to Manage Emotions Amid Changing Circumstances

An important consideration when choosing an appropriate mix of assets is risk tolerance. Understanding your tolerance for risk is essential to staying the course with your investment plan. A common way to measure your risk tolerance is how uncomfortable you feel when market volatility surges and the value of your portfolio fluctuates significantly. Determining how prepared you are to look beyond short-term market dips and ride out the bad times without abandoning your strategy can also assist in gauging your risk tolerance.

Our disciplined investment process is designed to give you confidence that your life goals can be accomplished. We help you manage things you can control and separate out the things you can’t control.

Managing what you can control:

• Age when you retire
• Amount you save annually
• Retirement income
• Amount you leave in your estate
• Risk in your portfolio
• What you donate to charity
• What you gift to your children
• Funding education

Navigating what you can't:

• Annual market returns
• Volatility of market returns
• Sequence of market returns
• Timing of unexpected cash flows
• Inflation rate
• Tax law changes
• Unexpected life events
• Health changes
• How long you live
• Social Security and Medicare changes

What's Most Important to You?

Wells Fargo Advisors' Envision® process offers you an effective way to identify your highest-priority goals and develop an investment plan designed to provide you with the wealth you need to live your life the way you want.

Instead of tracking your portfolio’s performance against a standardized index, such as the S&P 500, we review your progress toward achieving your life goals on your own fully customized index. It includes:

• Identifying what is important in your life and helping you prioritize your financial goals

• Coordinating and integrating cohesive solutions for all your financial affairs, including wills, mortgages, insurance, and tax strategies

• Creating a well-balanced, diversified portfolio based on your objectives, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon

• Monitoring results, reviewing changes in your circumstances, and adjusting your investment strategy as necessary based on your situation

If your life goals change with time or if fluctuating market conditions alter your plan's results, the Envision process offers the flexibility to make adjustments, as necessary.

Research shows that among surveyed Envision plan holders:


agree their plan is personally tailored to meet their unique financial goals


agree having an Envision plan helps them feel better prepared for retirement


agree their plan helps them talk to their advisors about significant life events

Source: Results are based on a survey conducted online by Versta Research from June 5 - June 22, 2019 among 457 Envision clients with Financial Advisor relationships. Results are not representative of other client experiences or indicative of future success or performance. The Envision process is a brokerage service provided by Wells Fargo Advisors.