We’re excited to share another article for our “Envisionary Nostalgia” series, where we travel back in time to the first quarter of 2013. This article was written and published by Lee Stoerzinger and was featured in the 72nd Envisionary. We found it interesting how relatable the information still is to this day. Do you remember reading this article? Let us know!
I remember it like it was yesterday. A client would call, looking for their portfolio balance. We would tell them that we would get back to them in a few minutes. Then we would pick up the phone, call the investment company advisor line, get the balance and any other needed transactions. Finally, we would call the client back and provide the information. It was all very normal and simply part of the relationship we were providing. Of course, these were the days when investment companies provided their share prices annually in the prospectus, and the “big three” television channels barely mentioned the markets in their nightly news reporting.
Fast forward fifteen years (not fifty, but fifteen). It’s not about having access to financial information anymore -this is fully assumed. It’s about who can provide that information in the best possible manner. There is an entire industry, including print, television and internet, dedicated to providing what they call advice, critical data, and news YOU need NOW to make informed decisions. Very interesting. They never even met you.
So, just a few years ago (in historical terms), someone who needed information would feel perfectly comfortable making a phone call to find the answer, from a timing perspective. There was no personal requirement to have greater access. In fact, we didn’t know any better because that’s all there was. But more importantly, thinking about how your money is doing is not a part of everyday life. Today, it seems as though daily measures of our finances are not only encouraged but required if we are to yield any type of meaningful success in our lives. We are now programmed to constantly monitor events around the world, wondering how they will affect us and our portfolios each day. What about Europe, or the bank in Nashville that closed? How about that guy in the Netherlands who stole money from people? Our question is this; how’s is it going for not only our portfolios, but our emotional state?
The world is moving at a very rapid pace. We get it. And after all, isn’t having access to all the information you can better than not, having it? Plus, look how global everything is now. There are things affecting us in ways that we have never been done before, and we need to keep abreast of it. While these comments may seem true on the surface, we believe there is more to the story.
The financial world has done an awesome job of providing timely information for those inclined. However, we have found that there is a very large difference between information and knowledge. Those sharing information often benefit only themselves, and those receiving it can become frozen with confusion and fear. Why? Because generic and often conflicting data is difficult to apply. Yet, that feeling of being “informed” is powerful. Knowledge, on the other hand, is looking at a specific situation, and applying specific strategies. We need to step back and keep those differences in mind. For some reason, timeless knowledge is never as emotionally powerful as misguided timely information.
When we think about money, and how it applies to our lives, we feel it is critical to map out a financial plan and follow it. However, we must also remember that it needs time to work. Monitoring progress along the way is great, but in no way does daily measurement of a thirty-year plan do anyone a bit of good.
Finally, the topic of humanitarian progress is a little advanced for this newsletter, but we can’t help thinking that we are currently in a period of historic “mismatch” when it comes to how we think about our lives, and the progress we hope to make. The unbelievable progress of today is very exciting, but how often do we find ourselves thinking about the good old days, when things were simpler. This issue is applied to financial planning in a very direct way, because it is a consistent monitoring of our lives. We thought it would be helpful to introduce these concepts, as we feel they uncover a powerful part of the financial thought process.
Investing involves risk. No investment strategy can guarantee positive results. Loss, including loss of principal, may occur. Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax or legal advice. Keep in mind that current and historical facts may not be indicative of future results. Diversification is an investment strategy that can help manage risk within a portfolio, but it does not guarantee profits or protect against loss in declining markets.
This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. (C) Twenty Over Ten