True story: this week my 7-year old son and I were driving home from church in a silent truck. Then, all of a sudden, he yelled out “Everybody knows that!”. Of course I replied asking, “Everybody knows what?” His answer: “In 15 minutes you can save 15% or more on car insurance.” Admittedly, this was not quite what I expected. Then a few seconds later came his follow-up, “Dad, what’s a percent?”
Many times we believe something just because we hear it over and over, regardless of whether we fully understand it or take time to research its validity. Believe it or not, this happens in the investment world as investors buy into the “hottest stock tip” or become frightened after listening over and over to doomsday predictions. Regardless of their specific situation or well developed plan, it somehow becomes easier to stray off path when the “noise” gets louder – whether from family, a friend’s so-called “successful investment story” or the news and media. Remember, you must maintain faith in your plan.
Playing the “what-if” game can be dangerous just like following the latest trend can leave you at risk. There’s a time to turn down the volume… and when things seem just too good to be true, don’t hesitate to ask your advisor. It can be good to get a second opinion or an objective viewpoint before making a clouded or emotional decision that you come to regret down the road.