At our recent Advisor Group Conference in San Antonio that Charlie wrote about last week, Malcolm Gladwell, the esteemed author and speaker, kicked off the event on Wednesday evening. During his address, he discussed the differences between puzzles and mysteries. To solve a puzzle, we typically just need the right information and ability to sequence it in the proper order. On the other hand, a mystery is not about having too little information but that we have too much. According to Gladwell, mysteries require judgements and assessment of uncertainty. Unlike puzzles that usually come to satisfying conclusions, Malcom says, mysteries often don’t.
The way I see it, people typically favor one of two different mindsets when it comes to financial planning. They tend to be either solution makers or journey takers. Solution makers see financial planning as a puzzle that needs to be solved. For example, they are seeking the proper investment strategy so they’ll be able to beat the market and can feel good about doing better than the average. When solution makers believe they have solved the puzzle at hand, they are usually on to their next pursuit.
Journey takers are more focused on where they are going. They see financial planning as a complex mystery that requires a diligent scouring of information to determine a suitable path. Due to the ever-changing nature of the financial landscape and their personal situation, they are quick to hire a guide to help them make ongoing adjustments to their plans. Journey takers are constantly looking and searching for a more effective way to get to where they want to go.
At Master’s, we view financial planning as a mystery not as a puzzle. Clearly, not all the pieces are simply sitting on the table for us to look at carefully and assemble in the right order. The team at Master’s is here to help you assess the array of options in front of you and help guide you along the path you desire.
What current financial decision are you wrestling with? Please let us know. We are eager to help you make a prudent choice.