‘Rethinking Forward’ has been a life-long pursuit of study that began in college, continues fervently today, and will continue for the remaining time that I’m on this beautiful and amazing blue and green planet.
‘Rethinking Forward’ means going against the crowd, skating to where the puck is going to be, avoiding groupthink, and looking for the true meaning in the investment markets. In planning for being work-optional, it means not using the last 48-hour news cycle to plan for a 30-year retirement. Or to put it another way, it’s avoiding the recency bias of current information in making long-term decisions. I’ll give you an example.
If you’ve ever received a review from your boss, you’ve probably been exposed to recency bias. In this hyper-distracted world, it’s hard enough to remember what you did a month ago. But for a boss, trying to remember what everyone on your team did a month ago is impossible.
This is why most reviews focus on the work you’ve done in the last quarter and not for the last four quarters. My Uncle George gave me great advice when I had just graduated college and began my first job working for Lear Corporation in Bridgeton, Missouri, building the seats for the brand new Dodge Ram pickup truck.
He told me that for the rest of my life, I must keep an accomplishments file at my desk. And in this file, I need to keep a record and proof of everything I accomplish. Then, once per year, summarize this information and provide it to my boss before it is time for my review, to be sure that the sum total of my annual productivity and accomplishments have a better chance of making the official record on my review.
This worked wonders for me and was always received by my bosses as a help to them because they hated doing reviews. I saved them a ton of time by doing the heavy lifting for them.
In the world of financial planning and investing —where I’ve lived and breathed for the last 18 years of my life— I see recency bias time and time again when the market is volatile, but especially at market tops and market bottoms.
Right now we are experiencing a bit of volatility. The press sure makes it seem that things are out of control. That this time is different and that everything will come crashing down any day now. (News Flash- They’ve been saying this market is going to crash every year since 20101.)
‘Rethinking Forward’ drives the foundational processes that guide our business, True Wealth & Company. At True Wealth & Company, we serve as personal wealth managers primarily for successful business owners and professionals about 5 to 10 years from being work-optional. People who, among other things, want to ensure they don’t outlive their money.
They want to sleep well at night knowing they can face the future with anticipation, instead of apprehension. We’ve developed and refined a process that puts all the pieces of the financial puzzle together for our clients as their life unfolds and their needs evolve. We call our time-tested process the Work Optional Formula ™.