For many people, paying attention to financial media distracts them from their primary goals.
Here’s a simple question: When was the last time you read some financial news that you acted on and then were glad you acted on it?
Unless you’re concerned with following the latest changes in tax law, there’s little value to be had in much of what passes for financial journalism. It’s a lot of noise dedicated to grabbing our time and attention. But for many, it’s just distracting them from everything else that should be more important to them.
Do you really need to spend hours sorting through news feeds and trying to decode the headlines or could we be doing that for them? What should you be paying attention to?
How much time could you save if you turned off the financial news spigot…two to three hours every night? Do the math and it ends up being a savings of 40 or so days each year. Even if you cut that in half, it’s still 20 more days in a year to do something else besides trying to translate the noise masquerading as financial news.
Many people think it’s their job to pay attention to it, sort through it and act on it. But it’s not. Think about all the financial news stories over the last 5 years…Brexit, Grexit, China Slowdown, Debt Default and downgrade, the Election, QE 1-2-3, and the list goes on. Meanwhile the Dow Jones has gone from just under 12,000 to over 18,000. That’s a gain of almost 50 percent over the last five years.
There’s a valuable role for us to play as financial advisors, that of the human curator. Our clients pay us to worry about the daily machinations of the markets, so they don’t have to. We believe one of our responsibilities is to remove this burden from our clients. We try to separate the noise from the things that are important for our clients to understand and act on.
But giving it up can be hard. It can take time and patience, but you’ll find that after working on it for a bit, you won’t miss the news. You’ll wake up one day and realize you’ve stopped obsessing. Just imagine being able to get back entire days.
Credit to Carl Richards. Some of this content excerpted from his excellent commentary.