Monday Thoughts – on Tuesday!


Watching the Rangers/Capitals hockey playoff game and realizing that the Rangers have a terrible offense – they’re in good shape and work hard and are controlling the Capitals (who are a much better team) but just can’t seem to score!

Lots of BS to Listen to Out There

Anyway, the investing world is providing entertainment for business news reporters everywhere. We have flu-related market sell offs, collapsing car companies, iffy banks, and increasing unemployment. Put all that with excessive money printing by the Fed, and we all have a lot to talk about. So it might surprise you that, even though we have TV’s in all of our offices at our office, my TV has been enjoyingly OFF.

Avoid “Financial Pornography”

I like quiet during the day – I don’t like the TV loud and I don’t like the phone ringing. It may surprise you that, even though part of my job is to run money, I enjoy LEAVING the office for meetings once or twice a day to get outside and not focus too much on the BS that most people glare at all day. One of my mentors calls all that  BS (business TV, financial magazines, etc) “financial pornography.”

Financial Pornography causes more stress, worry, and wasted time than it’s worth.  Often I encounter people who love to talk about biotech stocks, the latest hot mutual fund manager, or buying real estate in their IRA’s (this is the latest hot topic).  What amazes me is many of these people are in terrible physical shape or haven’t seen their family in months or play a terrible game of tennis.

In his book Values-Based Financial Planning, Bill Bachrach talks about how people ignore what’s really important in their life by trying to be part time financial planners (on top of their regular job).  Bachrach makes a good point that people would be better off delegating expertise to people who have expertise in a certain field (whether it’s finance, fitness, tennis) and instead spend their time on things they truly value and enjoy. And by the way, as a former tennis teacher who has seen some people teach themselves to play (I fall into this category) they tend to develop horrible habits that are hard to correct.

The moral of the story is to not worry so much about trying to know everything. Consult with a qualified attorney before you try to be a lawyer, consult with a qualified tax advisor before you try to do advanced tax strategies, and consult with a trainer before trying to create your own exercise program (for example!). Then you can focus on what’s REALLY important.

Chris Grande