Last week at Future Proof (world’s largest wealth festival), Morgan Housel observed, “What most people want is a simple life.” He’s the author of The Psychology of Money, a book I highly recommend. That quote stuck with me for the rest of the conference. I do think that most people just want a simple life, at least most of my clients do. So why does the financial services industry continue to offer so many complex solutions? I have a few guesses…

  1. Wall street makes a lot of money on complex products that people don’t understand. Annuities, hedge funds, private equity – all three charge really high fees. Odds are you don’t need them.
  2. Some math nerds convinced themselves that jumping through a bunch of hoops was worth it to improve results. This can be true, but often people forget to go back and compare the savings to the work needed to get there.
  3. Complex solutions make you sound smart. Some people can’t help themselves.

I could go on, but you can tell I’m much more of a “the simplest solution is often the best” kind of guy. With that in mind, I start with your goals and find the easiest way to accomplish them. I follow an investment strategy that’s easy to understand. I often use a one-page financial plan because people actually use them.

I remain committed to understanding the complex strategies that a few people can benefit from, but I’m not going to tell you about them to impress you. I’ll tell you about them if they will benefit you in a meaningful way. Then you can get back to whatever it is you want to spend your time on. Enjoy your life.

About the Author:

John has more than ten years experience as an Investment Advisor. He focuses on devising and maintaining portfolios that meet individuals’ needs, investment research, and investment strategy. John has been recognized as a “FIVE STAR wealth manager” by Twin Cities Business Magazine 2016-2022. He is a CFA charterholder and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional.

Legal Disclaimer: These posts do not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any securities or instruments or to participate in any particular investment or trading strategy. They are for informational purposes only. CTW gathers its data from sources it considers reliable. However, CTW makes no express or implied warranties regarding the accuracy of this information or any opinions expressed by the author and may update or change them without prior notification.