“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
– Mark Twain
Peter Lynch was the legendary portfolio manager of the Fidelity Magellan fund, and he is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors of our time. He once said that you can’t get a high school diploma in America today without knowing what a cosine is; however, millions of Americans graduate from high school every year without knowing the difference between a stock and a bond. The United States is the wealthiest capitalist nation in the history of the world, yet we don’t teach our children basic financial literacy.
As a result, most people have no idea how to effectively plan and manage their money and we receive our information about investing from one of two sources:
- The financial media. The problem here is that the financial media has no interest in providing us with true education or even in reporting the truth. Instead, they want to deliberately disturb you and incite fear regarding the latest global crisis that is threatening to take us all down.
- Our friends and relatives. Just like you, these people are subject to the same misperceptions, lack of education, and media influences that skew their understanding of the financial markets.
As a result, the majority of what most of us believe about successful investing and wealth planning is, at worst, totally false or, at best, a distraction from the real issues that will impact the financial outcomes we desire.
The bottom line is that there is a lot that conventional wisdom and popular culture has taught us about investing that, “We know for sure but just ain’t so.”
The Misperceptions We Fall Victim To
In my 25-year career advising families about their wealth, I have found that so many people believe that wealth planning and investing are incredibly complex, mysterious, and scary topics that they are ill-equipped to understand. Many people believe that the achievement of significant financial success will require them to wrestle with a great deal of complicated information and decisions.
Consider for a moment the messages about investing that bombard you and your household every day by the financial media. You are told that the stock market is a dark, dangerous, and scary place, where you might lose all of your money at any moment. You are exhorted to be constantly vigilant and able to react to market volatility at every moment. To avoid such disastrous losses, you must check your stock portfolio on your iPhone several times a day. You are encouraged to believe that the stock market is nothing but a giant casino, where the odds are stacked against you, and that unpredictable and unstable geopolitical events constantly threaten your financial wellbeing.
You are told that “beating the market” is the only fundamental measure of success in your wealth planning efforts, a task that most investors find incredibly intimidating and difficult. You are counseled that only a lucky few investors are capable of mastering the complexities of the markets.
Finally, you are led to believe that even those experts who can be turned to for help, professionals in the wealth management industry, are nothing but a pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing and are not to be trusted. Financial advisors are nothing but conflicted salespeople who have no interest in your wellbeing, only selling you something to earn a commission.
Complicating all this confusion is the fact that most people don’t have the time and energy required to master all this perceived complexity and to seek the knowledge they need to become successful. The mere idea of finding the time to become and stay sufficiently educated can seem overwhelming.
It’s no wonder that the topics of investing and wealth planning make most people feel on edge and throw their hands up in frustration.
Cut Through the Confusion with Clarity
I have dedicated my life’s work to the passionate mission of helping families to cut through the confusion, complexity, and fear that they feel about investing and wealth planning, so that they can gain a sense of clarity and confidence within the wealth planning process. I am excited to announce the upcoming publication of my new book on this topic, Clarity: How Popular Culture is Misleading You About Successful Wealth Planning and What to Do About It.
I am writing this book to help readers see through the fog of misinformation that popular culture has perpetuated around investing and to shine a light on the real issues that will impact your financial future in real life. Most people’s misperceptions bring them a great deal of anxiety about the wealth planning process and very often cause them to make critical mistakes in their investing and wealth planning decisions. When our clients achieve clarity about the simple truths of the capital markets, they are able to act confidently and decisively, avoiding the confusion, anxiety, and mistakes that plague most investors and prevent most people from becoming as financially successful as they should be.
My greatest hope is that reading this book will make a transformational difference for you and your family, giving you confidence and the 100 percent certainty that you won’t fall prey to the many wealth planning misperceptions and related mistakes that we have seen people make far too often.
Don’t forget to check out my previous book, Empowered Values: Planning Your Wealth Around Your Family’s Core Values, to learn how successful families use their wealth as a tool to fulfill their values and achieve what is most important to them.
Clarity will be available very soon, and you’ll be the first to know! Check our blog, follow us on social media, or subscribe to our emails to be sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to get your copy. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.