Written by Lee Stoerzinger, CFP®
Thinking back over the years, it has been interesting to see how product purchases and their delivery has evolved. For what seems like forever, the U.S. Postal Service was the main source for delivering mail. Growing up we would wait for the mailman, almost like a right-of-passage. Then firms like FedEx and UPS entered the shipping scene. Today, mail and packages seem to come at all hours of the day, even on Sundays. Amazon has their own trucks and couriers are all over the place. You can get just about anything delivered in hours –even restaurant take-out. Could you have imagined this even five years ago? The world has certainly changed.
On the flip side, as consumers we now spend our time waiting for someone to deliver products and services to our door. Whether a large table, a sandwich or pretty much anything else, we put in the order and it just shows up. However, what I find truly amazing is the systems that must be in place and the supply chain infrastructure that allows this to happen. I was always intrigued at how I could write an address on an envelope, put mine in the upper left corner, and away it would go to wherever in the world I wanted. At the same time, everyone else could do this with their letters – all with an amazing record of success. Today, I can’t even imagine the software and buildings in place to accomplish what is being done, let alone the changes in labor demands. Behind our very easy consumer experience are very complex systems.
This got me thinking...diversified investing as we know it has also become something we have just come to expect as part of our lives, especially as it relates to returns and growing our money. Yet, it is built behind quite complicated processes. A typical portfolio we help clients with may have managers working together from all over the world measuring companies, markets and economies. There is also diversification, cost, style, behavioral finance and tax strategies which go into getting the best return possible. Then, we overlay personal investment goals, risk tolerance, time frame and other items. Yet, we have become trained to just assume that the returns will just show up.
We live in a world that is moving fast and competing for our time on virtually every level. However, I think it may do some good to step back once in a while and gain greater understanding on how some of the things we take for granted in our lives actually work for us. We will not only gain knowledge, but hopefully some appreciation as well. It’s good for the soul, and the mind.
Next time, I will tackle electricity and radio waves. Just kidding.