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The right tool for more than one job...
Good morning to you!
Evernote is a tool that I’ve used for years. In fact, I mentioned it specifically in this September, 2021, US News & World Report article.
The interesting thing about Evernote is that it isn’t a single-purpose piece of software.
It can do a bunch of different things, many of which it does really, really well.
For instance, here are a handful of things I use Evernote for:
forward interesting emails into it
“clip” articles or other content from the web into it
save PDFs and other files into it
write notes (which includes capturing ideas for future weekly emails)
capture pictures I take with my phone
scan physical documents into it
share my notes with others
Others use Evernote for their to-do list, to manage their creative efforts, to track the books they’ve read and the books they want to read, and more…
And once all of this info is in Evernote, it has really great search so it’s easy to find things.
If you’re curious about everything you can do with Evernote, you can learn more here.
According to the company in November last year, Evernote has about 90 million active monthly users. I received an email from them back in June of 2013 telling me I was user number 56. Guess I was an early adopter…
But as much as I love Evernote, I just wanted to provide an example of a multi-tool.
A tool, technology, or other kind of gizmo that can capably do more than one thing.
In addition to Evernote, I also own a Swiss Army knife which is perhaps the original multi-tool.
Mine looks like this:
It was a gift and I’ve had it for about 25 years.
I also own one of these:
It’s a Leatherman Skeletool and as you can see from the image above, it’s a pair of pliers, a knife, a screwdriver, a bottle opener, wire cutter, and more.
My neighbor Larry has a much more capable Leatherman multi-tool he carries with him everywhere and it can do about a gazillion things. I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve seen him use it for all sorts of things.
Often the best tool is the one you have handy…
Of course, a multi-tool isn’t always the best tool for the job.
If I’m working on a project around the house, I’ll almost always reach for my Dewalt cordless drill instead of relying on the screwdriver on my Swiss Army Knife.
When it comes to planning for your retirement, there is a widely used but perhaps underappreciated multi-tool.
This multi-tool can:
Help fight inflation
Provide for your family
Deal with fluctuating interest rates
Create a lifelong retirement income
Build your wealth over your life
Weather economic recessions
Support your charitable wishes
Generate wealth for your children and their children
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about a broadly diversified portoflio of global companies.
I hesitate to use the term “stocks” because you might interpret that to mean you should own individual stocks.
And while that may work for some of you, I think the much better solution is to own low-cost, total stock market funds.
While there are many other good options to build your long-term financial multi-tool (portfolio), low-cost, total stock market funds are what I own personally and are what I use in my clients’ portfolios.
I don’t own any individual stocks.
Now to be clear, I’m not suggesting you dump all your investments into these diversified stock funds.
I also personally own and recommend to my clients that they round out their stock portfolio with some cash (held in a money market fund) and high-quality intermediate term bonds held in a separate low-cost fund.
While diversified stocks are the long-term growth engine in your portfolio, they also carry with them a lot of short-term uncertainty and volatility.
The high-quality bond fund helps dampen this short-term stock market volatility by serving as shock absorbers to the diversified stocks in your portfolio.
Your mix of stocks and bonds in your personal portfolio should be based, not on how much risk you can tolerate, but on how much risk exposure you need to support your personal financial plan well into the future. Through all types of markets, economies, and personal situations.
All this to say… I’m wary of financial salespeople and/or asset management firms attempting to market and sell you single-purpose solutions to your financial planning needs.
It might be insurance-based products like annuities or whole-life policy “bank on yourself” sales pitches.
Or the latest and greatest dividend investing strategy for retirement income.
Or some “get rich quick, can’t lose, hurry so you don’t miss it” invesment opportunity.
And don’t get me started on “alternative investments”…
I’ve written before that “simple and effective” is the best strategy for virtually anything.
Your retirement planning is no exception.
As Da Vinci said,
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
How about you?
What’s a multi-tool you use regularly or rely on?
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Until next Wednesday,