This is a client only episode of Connecting Dots that we are making public as an example of what our clients have access to from our production studios.
Individual money management is a breeze for some, a chore for others, and impossible for far more than our nation of political knuckleheads know or understand. The manifestations of poor mental wealth are evident every day, displayed in outbursts of verbal and physical assault, homelessness, and social media engagement. You read that right, “social media engagement.”
Wealth is far more complex than how much one receives through earned, unearned, or contractual income. Millionaire, multi-millionaire, or billionaire status is rather meaningless when one is struggling with the ravages of terminal cancer or profound trauma. And yet, those with money generally have a better chance of surviving cancer or trauma with money than without, but do they? Does money alone cause one to have a longer life, or is it something else?
A + B = C. This is an example of linear thinking. More often than not, from birth to death, it’s linear reasoning that is taught in school and through a wide range of social engagements. Linear thinking has, in my opinion, influenced the majority of investment decisions by the majority of people. This is not good and rather dangerous. While money provides life’s necessities, it should also be a source of freedom and enjoyment; however, Money + Spending = Happiness, well, not so fast Gomer. Let’s sit down on the cooler, lift our ball caps, and pop a soda with some peanuts and think about this linear thinking of money, spending, and happiness. What’s the keyword? Money right? Money equals happiness, right? Nope. Not a bit.
Let’s shift gears and make this a bit complex, and I want you to think of the concept of “complex thinking.” Ready? Here we go.
Many of us have engaged with a tremendous number of people over the years, most of the engagements are fleeting and inconsequential. Nothing happens that is memorable or distinguishable from others. Why are most people faceless and meaningless to the overwhelming majority of the population? I ask this as it will lead to something that I believe is essential share. Now pause, actually pause for a moment and think about this for a moment: Why are so many people you come into contact with mean “nothing” to you, and yet, why do so many people you’ve never had contact with rapidly become deeply connected to you?
If you paused and thought about it, I am willing to bet that you thought one or more of the following:
“If the person didn’t do something to stand out, why should I notice or remember them?”
“Most people are boring. Why should I pay attention to them?”
“I don’t care about people I haven’t met, Why would I?
“That’s a stupid question, and I don’t know where this guy is going. He better hurry up and get to the point.”
Answer: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, it’s all about me, just as it should be.”
If you don’t understand, don’t worry, you will.
Everyone has a complex money personality that is part of a lifestyle personality. One’s lifestyle personality is a concept that I created a few decades ago to explain why one person can save money while another is not. And it’s not a linear line of thought as those with money can be poor and those without are rich. How one or both can be happy or sad. And finally, some who found fame and fortune are despised, others exalted, and the same applies to those who toil in poverty with passion. Difference with similarities lies in one’s lifestyle.
How simple is it to change one’s money personality? It’s easy by knowing, understanding, and making a habit of thinking of these ten words:
“I am a lifestyle business where business is a lifestyle.”
No matter who you are, you are a business. As an employee, self-employed, or employer, you have a lifestyle, and it is a business. You may not want to think of it this way, but it is what it is. You cannot change this by ignorance or force. Unfortunately, false memories, a psychological phenomenon where one recalls something that did not happen or differently from the way it happened, is as common as the common cold. Those suffering from false memory syndrome is found in all levels of wealth, income, education, employment, race, and sex. The day-to-day life of those with minor to major false memory quirks can be easily dealt in some cases, and in others, the only solution is to disengage from the person as they are toxic and destructive. When two or more with the same false memory have the same narrative, a tight bond may result that over time, could develop into a cult of like-kind members. Some are called gangs, others deviants, and some climb the halls of justice and ride herd over the lives of the accused.
False news reports, misleading photographs, repetitive dribble about who’s doing what to or with whom is not only mind-numbing, it’s intellectually disturbing.
A + B = C?
Complex thinking where the story never ends with ongoing connections, cause and the effect is a world that those with a diachronic personality live in. On the other hand, the episodic personality compartmentalizations and deals with life in chunks and segments. The diachronic connects the dots. The episodic sees the dots.
If one wants to achieve success in life, one must connect the dots. The complex thinker understands the relationship between physical, emotional, intellectual, relationship, and financial wealth. The linear observer sees fitness as a gym membership and financial wealth in its own independent spot in one’s wallet or brokerage account. Complex or linear, reality or false memory based, habitual or disjointed, focused or distracted, whatever one is, everyone either majors or minors in their lifestyle and that lifestyle is one’s business.
Think about it.
Self-directed investing in the stock market is difficult for those who are emotional and easier for those who are unemotional. The level to which emotions enter into the decision-making process is not a straight line where one person is a basket-case and on a 45-degree angle, the last person is a hard-core numbers nut. In my opinion, the distribution is more like a bell-shaped curve where 70% base the majority of their investment decisions in whole or on a high-substantial basis on emotions. The long-term results of most investors bear out more failure than success.
Investing is like a game of poker, but not in the sense that poker is gambling. Nope, not a bit. The deck, unless stacked, can be counted. If the deck is played without being “sweetened” by the dealer, then counting cards will result in superior result for those who can count cards. That should not come as a surprise.
But investing, like poker in Vegas, is not played with a single deck but several decks, and the decks are switched out on a regular basis. Why? House rules and house rules. This means the house needs to win on a steady basis by a certain percentage and the house makes the rules. Again, pretty basic stuff.
But, and it’s a big but, emotions sway bets among many, including those who are pretty good at counting cards. This is something that horse tracks count on.
Oh, those horses can be a silly bunch. Counting cards is one thing, but horses, well by George, they are a breed of their own as are the owners of the tracks. The owners of horse tracks have a “spread” of approximately 17 to 20 percent. In other words, you bet a hundred on ten different races, you’re likely going home with $800. By the 9th and 10th race, you’re down and ready for the big kill. Why? Because you’re down. Didn’t you read what I just wrote? You’re down so it’s time for that end of the day, big kill.
Logic and unemotional calculations tend to go out the window with the wash-water as the day drags on. As the day is winding down, the odds on the long-shots to win, place, or show go down dramatically. Why? Because those who are left are far more likely to bet on the long-shot for an end-of-the-day killing. The same is true for poker. Ralphie from Jersey is down twenty thousand during his weekend at Big Lou’s Gamble-Ramble, a few streets down and over from the strip. Ralphie has a good hand, not great, but good enough and so he goes all in with his last $5,000. Full house beats a Flush and Ralphie is now flush out of cash. Until that last hand, Ralphie never lost more than a few hundred. Yes, he lost a lot over two days, but that last hand was a bust and he’s headed back to Jersey on the bus instead of a plane.
Thinking in terms of bets is something those of us who have been in the business of investing money for others for many years fully understand. There is nothing that’s guaranteed. We cannot predict but we can forecast. We do not use crystal balls but rather use crystal clear focus. But the focus is not solely on the numbers (quantitative) but also on the ebb-and-flow of public opinion (qualitative), coupled with a solid dose of horse-sense, or should I say: “Common sense.”
Buy low and sell high sounds easy until you say and think of it like this: Every year I want you to sell your best investment and put the money into the worst flea-bitten dog you have.
There are no secret formulas, magic tricks, or bunnies in the hat. Instead, there are those of us who understand that logical, organized, and process-based investing gives far better odds of winning the long-game than emotional and knee-jerk Hail Mary’s.
For nearly a decade, I have said repeatedly that investment advisors, the business media, and the street continue to pay far too much attention to politics.
I have lost count of the number of fund managers who have told me over the last decade they don’t pay attention to governments. In a globalised economy, political grandstanding just doesn’t matter, was their view. Well, it matters now.
Here is an article from MoneyWeek
The author, site, and spin is British, but the fact remains:
Supply & Demand - Know Fact from Fiction
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Mr. Truesdell also holds a CLU, ChFC, and RFC, has over three decades of unblemished experience in the financial services industry, serves as an expert witness in insurance and securities cases for individual and class actions, and is a subject matter expert in the area of estate planning and Smart Beta (Equal Weight) investment managment process-based investing.
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The benefits of doing push ups are significant. This simple exercise is important to do on a daily basis, regardless of your age. Muscle groups used include:
The pushup is a standard exercise in athletes’ programming. It should be in yours, too.
For the Older Adult
Regular physical activity is an essential part to healthy aging because it helps prevent many health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. Regular exercise also helps to keep muscles strong and joints healthy so one cn keep doing their day-to-day activities and remain independent.
The TrueStar Advisors 5 COWS - Physical
Do this on a daily basis:
Clients have full access to the 3M podcast where topics like this are discussed on a daily basis.
The Five COWS - Components of Wealth
In the order of importance:
We are closely watching a revolution developing across France. Caution: Traditional media outlets are not reporting the deep background and history leading up to this wide-spread engagement by "traditional" French men and women. This time, it's different.
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