A Force For Good

I am borrowing from Notre Dame here. But even USC and Michigan fans will accept this as a universal concept.

Last year the University of Notre Dame celebrated 175 years since its founding. There was a lot to celebrate — far more than the 7 Heisman Trophy winners since Angelo Bertelli in 1943. More notably, Notre Dame literally considers its greatest accomplishment as establishing itself upon the principal, “A Force For Good”. These were the words uttered by the Catholic priest founders of the University in the winter of 1842.

Belief Drives Behavior – Buchan’s Blog July 2018

Belief drives behavior. The stronger your belief system, the less likely you are to stray from your desired behavior. The converse is also true – the weaker the belief system, the more likely one is to stray from his/her preferred behavior. This is the primary reason why “normal” investors struggle so much, as highlighted by the annual Dalbar study that shows that the stock market has returned 10% per year over the past 20 years while the individual stock investor has returned less than 4% over the same time frame. If your investing belief system is not strong enough, eventually, certain biases (or what psychologists call heuristics) will creep into the subconscious and entice you to make sub-optimal decisions.

Not Freaking Out

Amidst the “high stakes news” of late maybe it is time for a more mellow message. Whether it has been G-7 talks, world leader summits, US Federal Reserve meetings, celebrity events — or your child’s graduation from kindergarten — the art of not freaking out seems to be harder than ever.

The Luck Factor

Despite all of the calculations involved in investing, there is still an element of luck involved. A specific term for this luck is, “Sequence of Returns”. What on earth is that? Answer: it is a risk. And it may just be the most important concept in the world if you ever wish to spend your savings — and have them last as long as you need.