Remember Warren Buffett's First Rule of Investing When Planning for Retirement

Warren Buffett's first rule of investing is "don't lose money."

His second rule is "don't forget rule number one."

In a rather odd whitepaper on retirement planning titled "Risk: How Much is Enough," the financial services firm UBS lays-out a road map of sorts for "moving forward" with retirement planning "in a changed world."

What seems clear is that the primary catalyst for the whitepaper is the fact that many financial advisors ignore or forget Buffett's first rule of investing when it comes to retirement planning.

At a very high level, the UBS retirement whitepaper boils down to the following (Annuity Digest comments are in italics):

  • The financial crisis has created "imbalances" that need to be restored (quite an understatement).
  • Investors need to reevaluate the "trilemma" of retirement planning--saving, investment goal setting and risk budgeting (huh??).
  • Reprioritize investment objectives (how about don't lose money in the first place).
  • Find an acceptable risk-return trade-off (how about accepting the fact that volatility and sequence of returns risk are unacceptable and need to be hedged--in other words, don't lose money when entering retirement).
  • Consider a non traditional approach to managing retirement assets (basically a proposal of employing "buckets" with no mention of hedging or annuitization...).

Source: UBS Financial Services

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