investing advice

For You and With You

pic for For You and With You

“People rarely need to hear our conclusion,” writes Adam Grant about advice-giving in the Smarter Living newsletter. “They benefit from hearing our thought process and our perspective.”

Grant is an organizational psychologist, but even without working at his level of research, we have felt the truth of these findings. You’ll notice that our posts don’t typically promise “the right answer” or “the most perfect approach.” And it’s not because we’re the most humble organization in the world, either.

But imagine if an advisor made all the calls for you or claimed they had discovered a one-size-fits-all solution. Sound convenient? Probably would be—for them.

We could insert a cliché at this point about how it’s about the journey and not the destination, but maybe it’s more mundane than that. It’s more like math class: if you don’t show your work, it’s hard for others to have confidence in how you got there, and nobody involved learns or gets as much perspective.

Giving “good advice,” for us, is a process that we and you must navigate together. What are the goals? That’s all you. What are the possible ways to get there? Together, we can lay out some options. How do we proceed? Well… we’ll need to figure that out.

Grant says, “The most useful advice doesn’t specify what to do.” It helps folks “clarify their priorities.”

We do this work for you—clients, you’re the heart of it!—but we actually need your help to do it with you.

If you’d like to talk more about this or anything, call or write.

What To Hold For Your End Of The World Portfolio

Man worried about 2012 doomsday prophecy - Stock photoOur entire investment philosophy is underwritten by a simple fundamental belief: tomorrow will be better than today. We can’t know that this will be true of every single tomorrow, but we’re pretty sure of what the long term trend will be.

Though they say that “past performance does not guarantee future results”, human civilization has a track record thousands of years long of managing to always do bigger and better things. We expect that things will continue to get bigger and better as time goes on. Without this belief the idea of investing in the future is meaningless.

We know that there are troubles in the world, as the news frequently reminds us. Clients sometimes come to us fearing that the latest bad news signals imminent total catastrophe. This isn’t anything new–people have been predicting the end of civilization for the entire span of human history. Yet somehow we’ve always gone on to bigger and better things all the same.

If such things ever do come to pass, it isn’t going to matter what investments you own. Your meanest neighbor will be trying to steal your canned goods. So the ideal portfolio for the end of the world is the one that will serve you best in the event that the end of the world fails to show up on schedule—again.