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After last month’s overload I thought I’d keep it a bit shorter this time for fear of information fatigue.  Thanks for all your feedback from last month, it’s always good to hear your thoughts and especially ideas for future topics.  Please keep them coming.  This month I’ve gone with one of the pieces I left off last month (you noticed didn’t you?).  This piece is based on comments and observation from one of our clients which I think highlights part of the problem with the “information age”.  He’s a very smart successful guy so I’m more than happy to steal his ideas!  In fact most of our best ideas come from the success of our clients so this is really nothing new.
You may not have thought much about it but where do you get your information from and how much attention do you pay to each source? How much of your thinking is driven by fear?  Fear is our most powerful emotion and will quickly override everything else, especially rational thought.   We feel first, then think.  Fear is driven by our survival instinct and handled by our unconscious mind – it’s too important to leave to our slow, consultative, thinking and rational conscious brain.

Do you trust “the media”? Journalism may well be about presenting the facts, however in the information age there is decreasing amounts of “real” journalism.  Modern Media is all about advertising and advertising is all about getting your attention.  The more they get your attention the more advertising revenue they generate.  Some at least try to tell stories but rarely is there enough time or money dedicated to facts.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend watching ABC’s Media Watch for an insight into some more interesting media practices.

So is the media advising you or simply saying whatever they think will get your attention? What gets your attention more, “warm and fuzzy” or “your family is in grave danger!”?  I’m not suggesting all media is dishonest by any means, simply that what is their best interests isn’t necessarily as directly related to yours as some would have you believe.

Do you trust politicians? Politics is first and foremost about votes, without votes there is no politics, and no power.  Who would you rather in charge, someone who promises to make things good for most of us or someone who will make sure your family is absolutely safe?  Elections results prove time and time again the majority of people vote based on personal self-interest ahead of any altruistic social good.

What about “Market Experts – Stockbrokers and Market Economists?” Are they advising you?  Why?  If the information they have is so valuable and important, how do you think their employers feel about them giving it all away for free on the 6 o’clock news?

So who should you believe and most importantly whose advice should you follow?  “Everyone” seems to be saying all this terrible stuff might happen and it’s going to make things really bad.  All the “experts” who are happy to tell you all this for free, all seem to agree – it’s all bad and will get worse, even worse than last time it was really bad.

Meanwhile, to some we may seem to be a lone voice in the noise.  In our world however, we hold the consensus view.  One of these worlds is wrong.  On one side, there are experts who understand the value of the truth and charge accordingly, the other world is full of “experts” who offer their most valuable information freely to anyone who’ll listen.

One side includes hundreds of our most successful and wealthy clients, the smartest people we know and the even smartest and wealthiest people we don’t know.  We understand this not because we are told but because we have studied and analysed those who have been successful and we follow their lessons.

We are extremely lucky.  In our role as advisers we deal with people from 18 to 80 and beyond.  We are fortunate to have worked with thousands of successful people not only in helping their success but in many cases well after they have become successful.  Through understanding their lives and experiences, their success and failures we have developed a thorough understanding not only how money really works, but how people can best apply its use to achieve the lives they truly want to live.

We know what we know, and, we know it is right, only because we’ve seen the results in thousands of people, both successful and those not so.  This collective experience and wisdom of our clients and their successes is the true value we offer.  We know it works and we know why it works, simply because we know a thousand people who have done it.  In the same sense we know what doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work because we know a thousand people who have tried “that” and struggled.  Whenever we apply the principals of success our clients have collectively taught us, we see great results.  Whenever they aren’t applied or ignored, the results are never as good and often terrible.

So what we believe and how we advise our clients is really no more than the collective wisdom of the smartest people we can find who have proven success.  We simply learned what they have learned and seek to apply these rules for our clients.  It may not be a widely held view and whilst it is generally quite simple, it isn’t easy and it isn’t quick. The reality is though if you know it works why would you do anything else?

As the saying goes,

“Popular opinion is no proof of truth as generally men are ignorant”

No more so than when it comes to finance, economics and investment markets.

Matt Battye

Matt Battye

CEO, Financial Adviser

Analysing what can seem to be like complex issues, Matt is effective in using analogies to better explain scenarios and truths to the rest of us. This is what Matt enjoys – educating clients on the truths and debunking the commonly held (wrong) view.

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