THINKING OUT LOUD

Treat Things Nicely

August 2, 2018
by Rob Zdravevski

“Hey Rob, when I have some spare cash, I’ll flick some your way, so we can have a play and take a punt. By the way, do you have any hot tips?”.
 
I hear this countless times.
 
The language and words people use, often describes and defines how they treat the stockmarket and investing in general.
Investing combines the factual with the subjective. But it also involves understanding the psychology and behaviour of the crowd and the individual. It is the latter that I attempt to train clients in.
When I attend social gatherings and people ask what I do for a living, I’d reply promptly with, “I’m an investment advisor, I build and manage my clients share portfolios”.
The person asking the questions often responds with something resembling, “Oh Yeah!, I’m quite terrible at investing” or “I’ve lost so much money in the stockmarket” or perhaps “I’ve had such a bad run with stocks” or variations to the like. You get the picture.
In fact, people apologise to me about their investing failures and woes. They apologise about their lack of investing fortitude. They say “sorry” that they don’t know much about investing and the stockmarket.
When I meet a surgeon or a motor mechanic at a party, I don’t feel sorry and inadequate that I lack competency in their field of profession. I don’t say to them, “Yeah, I’m really shit at heart surgery. The last time I tried it, I really messed up big-time”.
Why do they apologise to me about their lack of knowledge of financial markets?
We know there are specialists in many fields and people have the option to hire expertise, yet when individuals have a “flutter” in the stockmarket and should they lose money, they are quick to blame the market itself.
I ask myself if they did the “work” on their investment before they “jumped in”. Did they conduct rigorous research? Often, when their investing efforts turn sour, the answer is no.
The next sentence at these social gatherings, is along the lines of “so, basically the stockmarket is just another form of gambling, isn’t it?”
I then say, “No, it is not”.
My message is, if you treat something poorly or with contempt, often it’ll reciprocate in a similar manner or response.
Story to be continued…….