“The world into which we take this belief system will always regard it as not merely countercultural but counterintuitive. For the sake of simplicity, let’s reduce it to its essence. Once and for all, now and forever: Successful Investing is Counterintuitive.”
I am very proud to announce the publication of my second book, Clarity: How Popular Culture is Misleading You About Successful Wealth Planning and What to Do About It. The book is now available, and below you can find information on how to get your own copy!
As I mentioned, I am incredibly excited about this book because I believe that so many people have been misinformed about the reality of investing and wealth planning, and I am passionate about helping them understand the real issues that will impact their financial futures. My book explores many of the misperceptions and inaccuracies that confuse and distract people, while also identifying the unfortunate outcomes that many people live with as a result of this confusion. Here’s just a preview of what I discuss:
Complexity and Procrastination
Because popular culture teaches us that investing and wealth planning are incredibly complex and mysterious pursuits, many people become intimidated and overwhelmed by the wealth planning process. They feel that they are not equipped to invest successfully, and they don’t know where to begin. As a result, they procrastinate their wealth planning altogether and, in doing so, miss out on the opportunity achieve their most important financial goals.
There is an old saying in the media that “If it bleeds, it leads.” For some reason, we are typically attracted to fear-based news stories that prey on our anxieties, and, as a result, the media is often more interested in disturbing us than in providing accurate reporting and education.
I recently saw a great example of this, which made me chuckle. On Thursday, February 8, as I was getting dressed in my Philadelphia Eagles garb to head off to the Super Bowl victory parade in Philadelphia, I glanced at my television, tuned to CNBC, and saw this graphic:
This graphic was obviously meant to convey that the S&P 500 was experiencing significant downside volatility that day and week. However, some perspective may be in order. Despite a week of volatility in early February, investors in the S&P 500 earned 21.8 percent in 2017 and were richer by over 24 percent since Donald Trump was elected president. In fact, 2017 was the only year in recorded history in which the stock market increased every single month for 12 straight months. Better yet, since the lows of 2009, the S&P 500 was up by over 200 percent.
If you run into a crowded movie theater and yell “FIRE,” you will probably be arrested for inciting a riot. Yet this kind of media hyperbole and irresponsible journalism goes on every day, with no purpose or intent other than to scare people into consuming more financial media. In the process, it breeds an irrational fear of the investment markets and a constant sense of anxiety and unease about wealth planning.
Fear of Equities
Most people are incredibly afraid of investing in the stock market, despite the fact that the long-term returns of equities have been far superior to other “conservative” asset classes. As a result, most people don’t own nearly enough equities to fund their life goals. Even those who do are tempted to panic out of the stock market any time volatility strikes.
Successful investing is counterintuitive to almost everything you have been taught by popular culture. 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.
Check out an excerpt of Clarity here and learn more about how to get your own copy. I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.