• DALBAR, the nation's leading financial services market research firm, produces an annual study1 which most recently showed an investment return of 7.68% (S&P 500) vs. investor return of 4.79% over the 20-year period ending December 30, 2016. The two biggest factors cited are that individual investors chase returns and attempt to time the market.
  • “The Behavior Gap2 is the difference between these two numbers."
  • The result of buying and selling at the wrong time.
  • The Hot-Cold Empathy Gap is the inability to predict our own future behavior under emotional strain.
  • We are programmed as a species to remember our successes and forget our failures. Most people recognize this behavior in others but not in themselves.
1Information obtained from Dalbar’s 23rd Annual Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior. Dalbar, Inc. is an independent third party and is not associated with RAA. 2Carl Richards


  • "Failing to focus on your own behavior and goals, not the market’s"
  • Cash is never an investment strategy
  • Buying last year’s high return stocks, funds or managers is not an investment strategy.
  • Making investment decisions based on your feelings is the only guarantee in the investment universe. A guarantee of a bad decision.
  • Your potential mistakes will receive a lot of encouragement-“experts” on TV and in magazines are happy to tell you what is going to happen in the markets tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. None of that matters with a good plan.
  • Don’t live in an information bubble. Google takes many data points known about you by past searches to feed you results you will click on. Google search will reinforce your beliefs because it is feeding you articles it knows you will click on and they will get advertising dollars. The result on behavior over time is called confirmation bias – leading you to a conclusion that confirms your fears and increases the likelihood of a bad decision.
  • Don’t focus on the unimportant: Beating an index, finding the next Apple, trying to time the market and reacting to short term market activity.


  • Find an advisor whose values, goals and principles align with yours.
    • Have a checklist of what you are looking for in an advisor. Ask lots of questions.
    • Sit down and call references, these are incredibly important conversations.
    • Choosing the right advisor will result in a long relationship and involve your finances, your family, your home, your health, end of life issues and survivor assistance.
  • Create a plan unique to your needs and circumstances
    • A good financial plan will get you talking about issues that may be uncomfortable.
    • Investing in retirement is not about performance. It is about meeting your needs, achieving your goals, taking appropriate risk and avoiding irreparable damage.
    • An estate plan and survivorship plan must be included.
  • Execute the plan
    • Over time, a good plan will equal a good result regardless of what is happening in the markets or economy in the short term.
    • Any financial plan contains assumptions of variables that will change, so get an update annually.
    • Enjoy your life and retirement
  • Focus on what matters: Reaching your financial goals.

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Airline pilots and their spouses, like other retirees, undergo an adjustment process before, during and after retirement from their company. This booklet outlines nine issues that pilots and their spouses often encounter in the retirement process and some helpful tips.

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  • RAA has been involved in the planning and successful retirement of pilots and their families for over 25 years. Our depth of knowledge of your airline benefits, the challenges we are able to help you overcome in preparing for a successful retirement, along with the myriad of services available to you are what separate RAA from other advisors.

  • The earlier you begin planning for your retirement, the more successful you are likely to be when it arrives. As the major airlines have gone bankrupt, the onus of retirement planning has shifted from your company to you. Your full financial picture includes investments, estate planning, insurance and taxes, your selection of annuities (either from your company plan, the PBGC or Social Security) and survivor assistance (what will happen should my spouse outlive me?).

    Developing a retirement plan gives you the opportunity to understand and control your expenses before retirement, ensure you are maximizing your company benefits and may also reduce your retirement anxiety by making the transition a little easier.

  • No, our investment and retirement planning expertise applies to everyone. We have hundreds of clients not affiliated with the airlines.

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