What is it that motivated you to choose the financial industry as your profession?
We know there are things money can’t buy; but you won’t get far without it. So it behooves us to be smart and disciplined in how we manage it. Poverty is a terrible thing. The fear and desperation of financial want is so unnecessary in this country we live in. Almost all poverty comes from a lack of understanding and repeated mistakes.
We believe helping people build financial peace and security helps them provide for those they love and experience the joy of helping others because they have surplus to share instead of being trapped in their own need. Helping clients achieve financial success, security and peace of mind has a ripple effect on the lives of others. Construction workers can point to homes with the pride of having helped build them. We can point to financially secure families inside and feel the same pride.
What was the hardest lesson you had to learn about the investment industry?
We really didn’t want to believe that so much of the investment industry and media thrives on the mistakes and misplaced trust of investors. We were wrong!
We’ve observed how the financial industry mass produces armies of sales reps equipped with just enough training to appear credible even if their advice repeatedly violates sound investing principles. The reps appear genuinely sincere because most truly believe what they were taught by their trainers and marketing departments. So the reps and the industry supported media seem to keep “helping” investors repeat the same three fundamental mistakes that feed industry profits while starving real investor returns.
What are the biggest mistakes you see investors make when it comes to their investments?
Many losses are self-inflicted by investors who keep making the same mistakes, or who invest with s who keep repeating the same mistakes. Those mistakes are 1) trying to pick which stocks will go up, or down, 2) trying to pick when to be in or out of the market, a segment of the market, or a particular investment, and 3) trying to predict the future performance of a mutual fund, or ETF, based on what it did for any number of past years despite mountains of proof that these three mistakes make more money for the industry than for investors.
What is the most important thing for an investor to know about the investing process?
We think the most important thing to know is that you don’t have to know everything as long as you know the right things. And we can coach anyone willing to learn.
Too many investors are trying to learn everything as if it were even possible. They believe it’s vital to read and listen to all the business news and become anxious if they’re not tuned in. Others are the opposite. They may not even open their account statements. They just hope they aren’t losing money. They’ve given up trying to learn anything because can’t learn everything. So they’re overwhelmed. The good news is that you don’t have to be like either one of them.
How do you coach investors to stay disciplined with their investment strategy?
Many investors have no written investment strategy, or philosophy to guide all their investing decisions. Many have no idea where gains really come from, though many think they do. Many have no idea that volatility can even be measured, much less managed. We provide our clients access to coaching that includes entertaining monthly workshops on the how and why of being a smart investor based on time-tested principles of Nobel Prize winning economists.
The first question we ask from childhood is, “Why?” It’s a lot easier to stay disciplined with a written investment strategy, or philosophy, when you clearly understanding why it makes sense.
What is different about the investment industry now from when you started?
We’ve watched the tsunami of information over the Internet lead more investors to speculate believing they can anticipate what the market will do when millions of other speculators around the clock, and around the world, are thinking the same thing. Market fixation, like day trading, robs people of their time and their peace even if they don’t trade, and lots of money in transaction costs if they do, yet fails to deliver anything more than fleeting illusions of success.
What kind of people do you work with?
People unsatisfied with a financial industry profiting from their mistakes, helping them repeat their mistakes while calling it financial advice are likely to see the need for change and be coachable. We only work with people ready and willing to receive coaching. There are very few born winners in sports, and even fewer in investing. But anyone can be coached to succeed at investing if they’re only ready and willing.
Does your approach to investing work for everyone?
Our approach works for everyone ready and willing to be coached. Pride and procrastination are pillars of the financial industry. They keep investors trapped in a cycle of investor mistakes and industry profits.
The good news is that anyone ready and willing to be coached can develop a sound, written investment strategy based on the work of Nobel Prize winning economists instead of marketers or advertisers and learn to win by not beating themselves with their own mistakes and feeding an industry that profits from both their losses and their gains.