By Jerry Wagner It’s mid-January, and people are still talking about New Year’s resolutions. Although setting goals for the new year was a big deal when I was a kid, I have not thought much about it in the last couple of decades or so. Age may be influencing my attitude toward resolutions. A 2020 Urban Plates/Ipsos survey of 1,005 U.S. adults found that 59% of adults 18-34 made resolutions, while only 19% of those over 55 did so. Could the older generation have learned from experience? In any event, I found the results of a recent Forbes survey about resolutions interesting. The poll of 1,000 American adults found that more than 60% of us feel pressured to make resolutions in the early days of a new year—and that almost 40% of us each year declare a resolution or two (or three, the number made by the majority of those surveyed). Notably, quitting smoking, which often topped the list in the 1960s and 1970s, fell to seventh place, with only 12% prioritizing it. Hopefully, this reflects the success of past resolutions to quit smoking, leading to fewer people needing to quit. On second thought, resolutions may be effective. As you would expect, most resolutions (48%) dealt with “improving fitness” (losing weight, exercising more, etc.). But coming in solidly in second place was “improving finances.” From resolution to action: How we can help you meet your investment goals Making resolutions involves setting goals. Setting investment goals often translates into finding investments that meet the following criteria: • Suitable for your individual needs. • Tied to a customized benchmark reflective of your suitability level and the investment’s historical risk and return characteristics. • Demonstrably able to meet your investment needs. • Able to generate a mix of reasonable historical returns and risk (volatility) in line with your suitability profile. • Appropriate within the current financial environment. To help you meet these needs, Flexible Plans Investments (FPI) has created three turnkey investment solutions designed to make investing for your goals easy: • QFC Multi-Strategy Core : This strategy is available in five suitability profiles (Conservative, Moderate, Balanced, Growth, and Aggressive). It mixes and matches five actively managed core strategies—which employ a range of methodologies, including active mean reversion and tactical methods. • QFC Multi-Strategy Explore : We designed this suite of strategies to address different market factors and environments, each with a unique suitability profile: ○ QFC Multi-Strategy Explore: Low Volatility —Conservative. ○ QFC Multi-Strategy Explore: Low Correlation —Moderate. ○ QFC Multi-Strategy Explore: Special Equity —Balanced. ○ QFC Multi-Strategy Explore: Equity Trends —for Growth and Aggressive investors. This suite also includes the QFC Multi-Strategy Explore: Blend option, designed for Moderate to Aggressive investors, which selects the appropriate explore strategies for you at any time in the market cycle. • QFC Multi-Strategy Portfolio : This strategy draws upon all of the QFC strategies used to create the QFC Multi-Strategy Core and Explore strategies. That means in just one portfolio, you can access what our quantified methodology determines to be the top-performing monthly strategies, quantitatively weighted to meet your suitability profile. QFC Multi-Strategy Portfolio and QFC Multi-Strategy Explore include strategies that employ our Quantified STF Fund (QSTFX). QSTFX was recently named the top tactical allocation fund in the nation by Morningstar (based on Morningstar fund data as of December 31, 2023)—the third time it has received this distinction! In addition, our Quantified Pattern Recognition Fund (QSPMX) earned this honor in 2021, and our Quantified Common Ground Fund (QCGDX), developed to invest in common stocks and bonds of issuers that can be considered compliant with both SRI (socially responsible investing) and BRI (biblically responsible investing) standards, continues to maintain its Morningstar 5-star rating (as of December 31, 2023).* Progress without sacrifice: Three levels of risk management for one low cost Our turnkey strategies exclusively use our 13 Quantified Funds as investment vehicles, combining them into over 50 strategies or suitability profiles. These strategies can deliver three levels of dynamic risk management: (1) within the funds, (2) within the strategies that employ the funds, and (3) at the turnkey level where we allocate among the strategies. In addition to the dynamic risk-management benefits, the exclusive use of the Quantified Funds in our QFC strategies allows us to keep our advisory fees low. As sub-advisors of these funds, we offer investors a dollar-for-dollar fee credit that offsets our portion of their advisory fee with the sub-advisory fees we receive from them. Additionally, we waive our advisory fees entirely for accounts investing over $100,000 in turnkey strategies. The same waiver applies to accounts investing over $150,000 in our other QFC strategies. Making investing SMARTer, not harder When making New Year’s resolutions—especially about your finances—it's best to apply a system that sets you up for success. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that does not use the SMART ( S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R ealistic, and T imely) goals approach when setting its objectives. In line with that philosophy, FPI designed the process for investing in our turnkey strategies using this approach: • Specific: To invest in an FPI turnkey strategy, investors complete a brief suitability questionnaire to determine which of the five suitability profiles is appropriate for their needs. • Measurable: Our process then generates an investment profile for the investor and an OnTarget Benchmark for the matching turnkey strategy. The OnTarget Benchmark is a custom blend of third-party mutual-fund benchmarks from Lipper, adjusted for the investor’s suitability profile and the risk and return characteristics of the turnkey strategy’s historical returns. • Achievable: The customized OnTarget Benchmark is projected over the investor’s specified time horizon on the OnTarget Monitor graph supplied with each FPI investor proposal. • Realistic: The suitability profile of each investor is reviewed to determine if it meets the risk/return characteristics of the turnkey strategy. Each turnkey strategy and its component strategies are assessed for resilience against a multitude of past market crises and then ranked. • Timely: Our turnkey strategies are designed to be market-sensitive. We regularly monitor their component strategies and reallocate monthly, adding or deleting strategies within the turnkey portfolio and adjusting the weights of the methodologies included. Let us help you make those financial resolutions a reality Planners say that “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” The best part about investing in one of FPI’s multi-strategy turnkey options is that the plan needed is simple. If you want FPI to dynamically manage your entire investment portfolio, complete a suitability questionnaire to determine which QFC Multi-Strategy Portfolio meets your needs. If you desire to have FPI manage just a part (core/explore) of your portfolio or desire to supplement your existing static-allocation core or explore portfolios with active rather than passive strategies, add in the appropriate QFC Multi-Strategy Core or QFC Multi-Strategy Explore strategy to supercharge your current passive portfolio. This plan is always timely . We review and reallocate each turnkey strategy monthly to keep investors in the portfolio of strategies determined best at that time for their suitability profile and stated goals. You need not wait for the right time to buy (or, for that matter, to sell). Our turnkey strategies do it all for you, keeping your investment portfolio in tune with the current market environment. Are you seeking a way to satisfy your resolution to improve your finances this year? Wishing won’t make it so. FPI can deliver a solution to help meet your goal and also implement your plan to achieve it. Here’s to a new year of SMART financial decisions and a successful journey toward your goals! *The Morningstar award was given by Morningstar on January 14, 2022 (for 2021 based on Morningstar fund data as of December 31, 2020); January 14, 2021 (for 2020 based on Morningstar fund data as of December 31, 2019); March 13, 2018 (for 2017 based on Morningstar fund data as of December 31, 2016). No fee was paid in connection with this award.