Financial Life Focus

How to clearly navigate your financial life

Investment Porn

Looking for the hot action typically leads to disaster!

I have attended countless financial advisor conferences that reserve the best part of the program for some Wall Street guru who promises to delight the crowd with special insights about the rarified earth in the financial world. The build-up is practically erotic in its anticipation of the hot predictions that advisors can take back to their clients.

Sexy sells.

But Wall Street predictions, like economic outlooks, are more akin to fantasy fiction than anything particularly useful. The financial industry seems to delight in drumming up material more aimed at titillation than real information.

The countless articles on economic predictions make for great reading, as long as you don't plan your future around those outcomes. The same goes for all those lists—Top 10 Best Stocks, 25 Hottest Funds, etc.—that scream from the headlines of your favorite blogs. It’s entertainment—not financial advice.

So how do you navigate rational financial decisions with the barrage of "investment pornography" coming at you?

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

  1. You could change your reading choices, even if you fear feeling out of the "know".
  2. You might take the time you devote to reading investment porn and spend it with family, friends, exercising, learning something new or thinking about what would actually bring value to your life.
  3. You might dig really deeply into past predictions and Top 10's and research whether their results were consistently in alignment with reality.
  4. You could find a planner who believes that what the public takes for real information is just a commercial for a system that is not geared toward the individual investor’s success.

Of course there's an allure in discovering the next Apple, Amazon or Tesla. But for every one of those amazing successes, there are an uncountable number of failures.  As humans, we remain hopeful for finding the big win, even when it costs us dearly. In "Defending Your Life", Albert Brooks’ character Daniel is given an inside tip to buy Casio at its inception. Instead, he buys cattle.

Listening to the Wall Street gun behind the microphone, espousing the coming successes in the stock-picking future, all I could think of was Daniel's response to the question of what happened to the cattle: "All I know is, their teeth fell out."  

 

 

Michael F. Kay, a Certified Financial Planner, practitioner and a CPA, is president of the firm Financial Life Focus.

more...

Subscribe to Financial Life Focus

Current Issue

Love & Lust

Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?