Our Views

New Year, New Wealth Resolutions

As we step into the New Year, many of us are setting intentions to improve our personal and professional lives, alongside our health and well-being. But an area that often gets overlooked is managing our wealth.

We asked our team of seasoned portfolio managers to offer their perspectives on what you should be thinking about as you map out your financial future. Their professional insights and personal resolutions may inspire you to take stock of your own wealth management plans for 2024.

Decoding financial trends

When the Newport team talked about the key issues they’ll be keeping an eye on in 2024, it’s no surprise that interest rates and inflation topped the list. As Managing Director and Portfolio Manager Stephen Hafner put it, “The era of artificially low interest rates—and the widespread irresponsible behaviour that came with it—is likely over. There are compelling places to responsibly put capital to work and they are more apparent now than in the ‘zero interest rate’ era.”

Scott Campbell, Associate Portfolio Manager, agreed. “Interest rates are set to play a pivotal role in our financial discourse this year. They’re not just numbers on a page; they impact our daily decisions and the broader market movements.”

Chief Investment Officer Mark Kinney observed that for rate cuts to happen at the pace the market is looking for, inflation must stay in check. “The economy will need to stay out of recession before rate cuts kick in,” he says. “Regardless of what happens, we’ll stick to our long-term strategy, which is designed to navigate this inevitable market volatility.”

Navigating wealth with a realistic lens

When it comes to setting wealth management goals this coming year, the advice the Newport team gives clients is focused on being realistic and taking a team-based approach to managing wealth.

“Living within your means isn’t just a phrase; it’s the cornerstone of sustainable financial planning,” Kinney advises. He underscores the dangers of relying on unrealistic returns for future stability.

Managing Director and Portfolio Manager Dan Girard, who heads up the Newport team in Waterloo, Ontario, emphasizes the importance of having well-defined targets and advocates a meticulous and proactive approach. “When it comes to managing wealth, it’s all about clarity and foresight,” he says. “Defining your goals is the first step in a journey that requires careful navigation.” Girard encourages clients to articulate their financial aspirations, seeing this as the foundation of effective wealth management—whether it’s philanthropy, preparing for retirement, or building a legacy.

With all that, it can be hard sometimes to know just where to begin. “Start somewhere, anywhere,” Managing Director and Portfolio Manager Kyle Smith advises. “The perfect plan doesn’t exist. It’s about taking that first step and building from there.”

Taking a team approach

“One of the biggest mistakes in wealth management is going it alone,” Girard observes. He champions Newport’s team-based approach: “Your wealth advisor, accountant, and estate lawyer should work in concert to ensure your financial plan is robust and all-encompassing.”

Newport’s emphasis on strategic planning, collaboration with professionals, and the integration of personal values into financial planning offers a holistic approach to managing and growing wealth. With that guidance, clients are well-equipped to make informed decisions that align with their long-term financial and personal goals.

The balancing act that’s life

Balance is a multifaceted and vital aspect of both personal well-being and professional success. This balance, often a blend of managing financial responsibilities, personal growth, and life’s pleasures, is increasingly recognized as a key component of a fulfilling life.

“Balance is about harmonizing your personal aspirations and professional duties with continuous personal growth,” says Campbell. “This sense of balance extends into nurturing our health and enriching our relationships.”

Portfolio Manager Amélie Beauregard adds: “Life’s a balancing act. Sometimes work takes precedence, other times, it’s your personal life. The key is to navigate these shifts with grace and understanding.” Hafner agrees, saying that “For me, balance is about making my work complement my life, not the other way around.”

“I think balance is probably the most important thing people should strive for,” says Kinney. “Managing time for family, work, friends, health, personal improvement is the key to a successful life and career. Learning how to do this takes time and should be a priority.”

Personal and professional resolutions for the year ahead

As much as it’s important to focus on financial wellbeing, it’s also the perfect time of year to reflect on what we want to achieve in our personal and professional lives. Those aspirations needn’t be lofty or daunting.

“This year, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone into the world of baking and finally using the bread maker that’s been sitting idle in my basement for months,” shares Beauregard with a smile. “I’m also focused on getting away from screens and doing more leisure activities that will inspire a variety of senses– touch, smell, taste, hearing. It’s about challenging myself in new ways.” Other Newport team members are keen to get active in 2024. Hafner is passionate about cycling, while Smith is determined to improve his physical fitness and refine his golf skills.

There are clear business objectives the team want to meet too. Kinney says, “Meeting client expectations is just the start. I’m also focused on mentoring the next generation of the firm’s financial experts.” Smith is all about refining his practice: “Efficiency is key. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve operations and client service, ” while Hafner sums up his professional outlook thus: “My goal is to future-proof our business, ensuring we continue to serve our clients and colleagues effectively.”

As we venture into 2024, the collective wisdom and personal voices of Newport Private Wealth’s team offer an engaging and thoughtful guide to wealth management. Their insights remind us that wealth management is not just about numbers and strategies; it’s about realistic planning, collaborative efforts, and finding a balance that resonates with our individual lives. Their advice provides a comprehensive roadmap for those aiming to achieve both financial prosperity and personal fulfillment in the year ahead.

What do you think will be on your radar this year, and do you have any specific goals for 2024? Get in touch to learn more about Newport’s strategic approach to protecting your wealth.