Issue 9

1.

Jazon Zweig considers examples of carrots and sticks which would help investors to think of the long-term, even in times of market volatility. He carries on to explain why dollar-cost averaging by way of monthly contributions can make investors feel uncomfortable.

A novel approach to encourage good investor behavior was introduced by Ritholtz Wealth Management in 2015 when they announced that clients who had been with them for 3 years would qualify for a fee reduction.

2.

The CFA Institute argues, correctly I believe, that as our profession continues to face disruption from technology, the only way we can compete with machines is to double-down on our humanity.

3.

In a world where computers will increasingly do the heavy lifting of our work, the skills needed to excel in financial planning will likely differ to the technical knowledge that was required in the past. The case study of “cyborg chess“, being a human player with access to digital chess tools, has shown that the best human players did not always become the best cyborg players. The particular skills possessed by these otherwise amateur players give us a glimpse of which aspects of our jobs we should start to focus our efforts on. It’s comforting to know that the best cyborg players were consistently superior to either humans or computers on their own.

4.

Staying on the topic of skills needed in the (near) future, Rob Macdonald argues that our roles will become increasingly a life-planning one rather than a financial planning one. Our future tasks will require using the head (thinking), the heart (feeling) and the hands (doing), and effective planners will need the ability to listen; to question; to guide; to counsel; to empathise, and of course, to coach.

5.

After all the talk of what’s changing in our profession, it’s worth considering what will remain the same. Morgan Housel uses the 22-year anniversary of Amazon’s website launch to reflect on Jeff Bezos’ advice to focus on what’s not going to change in the next 10 years.

“You can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. In our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection. It’s impossible to imagine a future 10 years from now where a customer comes up and says, “Jeff I love Amazon, I just wish the prices were a little higher.” Or, “I love Amazon, I just wish you’d deliver a little slower.” Impossible.”

Will your value proposition still be valid in 10 years?