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No this is not the name of the midland’s latest and greatest country band – it’s two separate thoughts I am keen to share with you, dear reader!
If you are lucky, every now and again you will get introduced to someone that opens your eyes, that adds real value to you. I’ve been fortunate, partly due to my general curiosity and partly because I’ve been lucky to just encounter some really interesting people. I’ve met several such influences recently. This week, in a very short piece I’m aiming to share the love a little!
If you’ve been following us over any period of time you will know that we are one of Ireland’s only Independent regulated financial advice firms. As such, we are not paid by any of the third parties or funds that we use for our clients, nor do we receive a commission income from any source. In operating on that basis, one of our roles is to ensure that the portfolios our clients are invested in continue to remain as effective as they were when we chose them! If they cease to, we can and will make changes, again, in the clients’ interests.
While completing scheduled due dil recently, we continue to be amazed at how very bad the vast majority of the high-street investment funds continue to deliver sub-standard performance for investors. My vision is that one day, all investors in Ireland will have clarity on investment returns, on fees and and on what really delivers investor returns. As it stands, 90% of Irish Investors are investing based on what the marketing departments of the main firms tell them to invest in. My hope is that some day in the next decade, Irish investors of all levels, experience and age will have access to investment solutions that actually stand to benefit them in a meaningful way.
At Informed Decisions we have, from day one, set out to help make a positive difference in financial services. In doing what we can to help deliver that vision, we have created a new investment service within Informed Decisions. We launched it last week. It is an investment only professional service for investors in Ireland. ‘Informed Invest’ allows access to very effective portfolios consisting of passive and globally diversified index funds. The same portfolios that have knocked the socks off every high-street offering over pretty-much any period you wish to choose. And that is before you factor-in the cost differential between our offerings and the high-street stuff. It is a totally different proposition to our core financial planning service and priced accordingly, but we hope it will be a really valuable solution for people that want to invest seamlessly online, knowing they are getting a fair crack at achieving the returns they deserve. If interested to know more, visit our Informed Invest page.
The Big 4
I mentioned a few minutes ago that every now and again we coma across someone that adds huge value. Once such person (a valued client) introduced me to Scott Galloway, a US based Stern University professor, author, entrepreneur and as far as I am concerned, a shining light in calling things as they are.
He also hosts his own Prof G Podcast which I where I first came to be introduce to him. You might enjoy it. He doesn’t hold back, lets us have it with both barrels. It’s hugely entertaining, once you get past his unashamed advertising of a certain brand of men’s underpants!
Recently he interviewed Adam Alter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, mostly on the topics of human behaviour. I’m not going to launch into invesotr behaviour this week . Instead I’m going to share with you, what was to me, the most interesting insight from that interview with Adam Alter.
He conducted what appears to be significant research and study of people who were in the late stages of life, as part of prep for a new book he is writing. Specifically, he researching the main regrets that people have as they get to the end of life.
The main finding is not surprising, yet hugely interesting to hear. In my view we can all benefit from hearing it regularly. The thing that most people regret having not done, is prioritising time with loved-ones. Time with loved-ones, simple but for many not easy.
Not money, not building a business of x turn-over, not having this or that car or house, not having x in the bank account. We are a social animal, and sacrificing that need for the pursuit of material goods seems to be a costly exercise. Based on my own experience, many of us have our ladder up against the wrong wall for far too much of the time.
Interestingly, it links in closely with George Kinder’s approach to Financial Life Planning, in which I am planning to continue my qualification later this year. Have a listen to my chat with George here from Podcast 167.
Oh, one of my favourite quotes from Scott Galloway is from his book, ‘The Four’. In it he takes the halo off the massive four tech companies that have ungodly control on many aspects of our lives; Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon. It is a fascinating read, and will open your eyes and shape your behaviour. Since reading it deliberately all but left Facebook, reduced my use of Amazon and their peripheral services, supported local providers where feasible, limited my use of Google. As for Apple, well I was never willing to pay what they were asking!
Anyway, my favourite quote from that book (be careful if kids nearby):
“It is conventional wisdom that Steve Jobs put “a dent in the universe.” No, he didn’t. Steve Jobs, in my view, spat on the universe. People who get up every morning, get their kids dressed, get them to school, and have an irrational passion for their kids’ well-being, dent the universe. The world needs more homes with engaged parents, not a better fucking phone.” ― Scott Galloway, The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google
A former colleague and existing friend rang me two weeks ago with news about Diarmuid. Diarmuid, was a young man, had a young family, and had it all ahead of him. I was involved in his recruitment to a company I worked in at the time, and warmed to him immediately. Bursting with integrity, honesty and conscientious. He made his mark in that role as a success. And last year, on the back of his success moved on to another company at a higher level.
He probably had the same concerns, priorities and hopes for the future as the rest of us. The same assumption that we have two, three, four or more decades in which to do it all. A couple of weeks ago, suddenly and without warning to him, his wife or his young kids he died at home. Prematurely and as a total surprise to all. Gone.
We have all lost friends, family and loved-ones. Yet, for many of us, even that is not enough of a wake-up call to figure out our priorities and live life accordingly. Fully accepting that it is not a perfect art, we are all guilty to one degree or another of not living our live’s in line with our priorities. All of us. I came across a poem recently. Can’t recall where, but it struck a chord, and made me reconfigure some aspects of my life for the better. I hope it does for you too:
Slow Dance by David L. Weatherford…..
Have you ever watched kids On a merry-go-round?
Or listened to the rain Slapping the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight? Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?
You better slow down Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won’t last.
Do you run through each day On the fly?
When you ask: How are you? Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, Do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores Running through your head?
You’d better slow down. Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won’t last.
Ever told your child, We’ll do it tomorrow?
And in your haste, Not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die
Cause you never had time To call and say, “Hi”?
You’d better slow down Don’t dance so fast.
Time is short. The music won’t last.
When you run so fast to get somewhere You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through the day, It is like an unopened gift thrown away.
Life is not a race. Do take it slower.
Hear the music Before the song is over
your next steps
What best describes you?
We understand that running a business AND prioritising your own personal wealth is not as easy as it sounds. We help business owners to put strategies in place to maximise their personal wealth through tax efficient planning, exit strategy or business sale.
The 5 years before retirement are critical to successfully ‘graduating’ from full-time employment. We help people to arrange their assets in the optimum way, ensure they are benefiting from all the opportunities available to them in this key phase of life.
Because many people in this phase of life which we speak to, want to ensure they maximise the resources they have, that is what we do. We help them remove concern so that they can go about enjoying life. You may have one eye on providing for loved-ones but the priority must first be you!
You could get back less than you invest. Your capital is at risk in such investments. The value of your investments will rise and fall. Informed Decisions Limited T/A Informed Decisions Financial Planning is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland