The More Things Change... Poem by Michael W. Hesse, CFP, CLU, ChFC January 8, 2001The big investment question is, as we begin the new decade:Has all the easy money from the markets already been made?’95’-‘99’s bull market made it seem so easythat 2000’s roller coaster ride has left many feeling a bit queasy.Will 2001 be more of the same,record volatility, with the year-end results just as lame?Will the Fed continue to cut rates?Will energy prices abate?Will the Arab/Israeli situation calm, or is it too late?Or will some other unforeseen risk come out of the blue,to cause the drop of that second shoe?The answer to these questions of course is – I’M NOT SURE!For predicting the future has always been the fools lure.Guessing the markets ups and downs is impossible we know,while those who are simply patient are richly rewarded – history does show.If you truly are investing for the long term,then why would a down market make you squirm?Why do you love it when Dillards runs a sale,and yet when the market goes down you want to bail?Rule number one from investing schoolis never let your emotions rule.So 2000 should have taught us many a lesson:history does repeat, valuations matter,and for the pro’s, school is always in session.It also confirmed the fallacy of buying what’s hot and selling what’s cooland that diversification is still the best wealth preservation tool!Diversified portfolios may trail when one popular asset class is winning,but when that asset class inevitably falls,diversified portfolios don’t have to restart from the beginning.Face it, you aren’t going to get rich quick,not by winning the lottery, nor on one tech stock pick.The sure way to wealth is to win by not losing,just look at the math, then do of your choosing.If 50% of your portfolio a down market stole, then 100% gain is required just to be whole.So don’t fall prey to the “I want to make money today” temptation,because this will inevitably lead only to frustration.So in the entering the new millennium at least one thing has not changed;and that is the rules to winning the wealth accumulation/preservation game.The first rule is to pay yourself first, invest all that you can, for what will be there when you get there, is what you sent there by plan.The second rule is to diversify your investments so that if some are zagging, others are zigging. This improves the odds of your overall portfolio consistently winning.The third rule is to be patient, not to freak out and sell in times of trouble, nor to sell out of your lesser performing investments to buy into a rising bubble.And the last rule is to keep Texas Wealth Management, Inc. by your side, your trusted advisor along this wonderful wealth accumulation and preservation ride!There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio can assure a profit or protect against a loss.Investors should be aware that investing based upon strategies or models does not assure a profit or guarantee against loss. With any investment vehicle, past performance is not a guarantee of future results.Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information presented here should only be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.