Curious Interested and Interesting

Earlier this month I was musing on the wider world of social media and commentary. Although I am pretty inconsistent with it, it occurred to me that some of you may not follow Twitter or Facebook, so you may not even know or have access to some of the smart and conversely, garbled thinking that is out there in the ether. Now I know some of you may think that Manse Capital is the last word when it comes to all things about living the life you want to lead, but we are part of a developing and growing community of like minded people who are exercised by the desire to give everyone access to transparent, fair and true information and thought.

So I thought I would introduce you to a just a few of the people that I find opening my eyes regularly. This is non-exhaustive, so I have kept it to financial and investment behaviour, but the few mentioned will give further access to much wider thinking, as is the nature of the beast.

As you know, we believe that to ensure that your financial plan works for the rest of your life, there has to be a robust investment process to underpin it. You will know by now that we do not believe man or machine can predict the future, so we use peer reviewed empirical data going back over half a century to give us some predictability of returns. One of the great curators of this data is Robin Powell (https://www.evidenceinvestor.co.uk/), and he deconstructs thinking from all over the world; the truth about investing and what is in our best interests.

It was Jack Bogle who created the first index investment fund back in 1976. Bogle has over 65 years of experience in the profession and I am reminded that it is worthwhile revisiting some of the simple basic rules of investing (https://www.evidenceinvestor.com/bogle-7-tips-every-investor/). Bogle argues that “impulse is your enemy” and I am fascinated by the impact human behaviour can have on either a great or appalling investment experience.

There is so much evidence to support the negative impact of chasing returns and reacting to ‘the noise’. It’s good to spend a bit of time understanding our relationship with money, as we all have natural biases and behavioural traits. The skill is learning to control them and be disciplined enough to enjoy a great investment experience. This article on Collaborative Fund (http://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/the-psychology-of-money/) is a wonderful example of the vagaries of the mind and a bit of a cautionary tale. Set some time aside and stick with it. It is well worth the read.

A thought leader in our world since the noughties, Jason Butler (https://www.jason-butler.com/), has taken a step back from client facing. As many consumers get priced out of comprehensive financial planning, it is incumbent upon us to inform and educate a wider audience. Butler is thought provoking and entertaining in equal measure and certainly infuriates, but he challenges long held assumptions and of course that appeals to us.

We try and keep the complexities of your financial planning as simple as possible and I love Carl Richard’s simple drawings for his column as ‘The Sketch Guy’ in the New York Times. It just shows that wherever you are in the world we all bear the same feelings and anxieties and whilst there may be an American slant on his work, the message is still simple and elegant. You can pick up some of his work at Behavior Gap: https://behaviorgap.com/

It is rare that our clients want to dig deep into the methodologies of how we invest and not speculate, as it is a straightforward philosophy and one that we have espoused for over a decade now. However, it is good to be challenged. I am the same and I have to say that some ‘investment speak’ is just baffling and maybe deliberately so. But sometimes, someone makes the science of investing interesting, again challenging long held prejudices. Abraham Okusanya does just that (https://finalytiq.co.uk/posts/).

That’s just a few for now. Of course, if you know of any that we should be following or watching, just let us know. We always try to be curious, interested and interesting.

Simon Fitton

Financial Planner & Director