Jason Zweig has been a Personal Finance columnist for the Wall Street Journal for the last decade. To be honest, I’m a big fan.
Way back in 2013 he wrote an article in the WSJ with the headline above and, while I only recently came upon it, what he wrote is as relevant today as it ever was.
He said his job is “to write the exact same thing between 50 and 100 times a year in such a way that neither my editors nor my readers will ever think I am repeating myself.” “My job, as I see it, is to learn from other people’s mistakes and from my own. Above all, it means trying to save people from themselves.”
“The advice that sounds the best in the short run is always the most dangerous in the long run. Everyone wants the secret, the key, the roadmap to the primrose path that leads to El Dorado: the magical low-risk, high-return investment that can double your money in no time. Everyone wants to chase the returns of whatever has been hottest and to shun whatever has gone cold.”
“As the founder of security analysis, Benjamin Graham, wrote in The Intelligent Investor in 1949: “The investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself.”
I think this is one of the most crucial roles a financial planner can serve – to save investors from themselves. Investor behaviour has done more to ruin a good plan than the markets ever have.
Take a few minutes to read the full article here. You will be glad you did.