You’ve all heard it. It’s been said over and over by anyone trying to sell you a trading service, software, newsletter, or anything similar: “no one cares about your money more than you do, so sign up today!”
However, if there is one thing that over fifteen years of working with people has taught me it’s this: that phrase couldn’t be further from the truth! Let me explain.
For 10 years, I worked for the biggest and best investor education company in the world today. Early in my career with that company, I was the one that used to utter that same phrase to anybody and everybody. I honestly thought it was true…until I saw what people actually did with their own money.
Below are a few examples of what I’ve seen people do with their own money.
- Destroy their chances of a retirement because of some option or stock trading strategy that a “guru” was touting;
- Hear about a stock from T.V. or from some webcast and immediately invest, not knowing a thing about the company they were buying;
- Take more risk in their portfolio than they would have ever dreamed of before, because they attended a workshop for two or three days and walked away feeling warm and fuzzy.
Here’s a simple comparison to put this into perspective.
People study for weeks on where they are going to spend their next vacation. Once they pick a place, they study weeks more on what they are going to do on that vacation. When you add it all up, people often end up studying well over a dozen hours just for a vacation. Compare this with investments. Many of these same people will put their life savings into a speculative investment with no research—simply on the word of someone else. Stories like this are too commonly seen as an investment advisor, but somehow society still accept this maxim: no one cares about your money more than you do!
The last few years of my tenure with this educational company were hard. I was torn. I was torn because I saw what people were actually doing, and I really couldn’t do anything about it. Sure, I could teach the things that I knew worked, but even then, people would twist and turn the content in a way that resulted in taking too much risk. Or, they would do nothing at all.
It was in those last years that I began to realize what a fallacy the phrase was, and I slowly began to develop a better understanding in my mind.
People care about their money, of course, but for most, the financial industry’s complexities, the idea of becoming rich easily, and time constraints make it so they don’t know HOW to care for their money.
It was at this point in my career that I knew if I wanted to truly impact people’s financial success and help them achieve prosperity, I would need to help people to manage their money!
Now, I’m on the other side of the fence. As a Money Manager, instead of telling people what to do, I can just do it for them. I can still educate people on what they need to know, which is a big part of our firm (you can’t be blind as an investor), but now I can implement those strategies, which I know work, for them.
The one thing I’ve learned while being on the other side of the fence as a Money Manager, is that I can honestly say that I do care about people’s money—certainly more than people realize. I’m constantly thinking about it—day and night, night and day. Which investments are best? What will get our clients the best reward for the risk they are willing to take? When is the right time to implement a certain strategy? The list goes on and on.
Carl Richards, author of the Behavior Gap, has a sketch that I love. It puts all this into context. My job as a Money Manager/Investment Advisor is to care about your money more than you. To help you avoid the “big mistake.” To spend as much time as is necessary researching a company before buying it.
My advice to you is simple. Find someone that you trust, someone who truly does care about your money, and allow them to do just that. When, and if, you can invest better than they can, feel free to take over control of your own financial future.
What We’re Reading
Gradual Improvements Go Unnoticed: How true this is! Everyone is always talking…or even yelling when it’s time to sell stocks. Very few people recognize the great buying opportunities. This article addresses a very simple, but important concept.
7 Traits that are Required for Active Investors to Win in the Long Term: Couldn’t agree more with Jim O’Shaughnessy and his list. One that we always discuss, that few people truly understand is his trait #2.
20 Surprising Facts About Warren Buffett: By now you know how much we admire Mr. Buffett for his investing methodology. This list shares some interesting facts that teach important principles. From failures, like being rejected from Harvard to his successes.The most eye opening of these is #9 on when his wealth accumulated.