Every one in my profession has seen this multiple times: the client who swears they want to be disciplined, but they have a tip on a certain stock. They are in it for the long run, but want to know what the market is going to do this year. They want to move on a company that their brother-in-law knows the CFO and says he hears they’re toast. They know they can’t spend $300k a year on a $5M portfolio and expect their money to outlive them, but just this one time……
The beautiful thing about principles is that they give you the right answer, every time. Stated in the opposite, there is the scene in Zero Dark Thirty where the dirty grunt admonishes the smart kids from Langley about all the safety precautions they are about to abandon. “Procedures are only effective if you do them every time,” he counsels.
The smart kids then abandon procedures, and bad things happen because of it.
You can’t embrace procedure (hire me) and then ignore it. Even if you’ve ignored procedures in the past and want to be better now, that’s ok. We offer 100% absolution on every bad decision you ever made right up to the moment you walked through our doorway. It’s ok. It’s going to be better now.
But in order for it to get better, the drug addict must forsake the drugs, the alcoholic must stop drinking, the obese can no longer eat indiscriminately. Failures and relapses can happen, yes, but they cannot be part of the plan.
People who shouldn’t hire me, part 2: “this time is different”
Today I want to look at the bane of existence for everyone doing real financial...