The latest thinking from Greenspring Advisors.

Wisdom, Experience, and Life Lessons

J. Patrick Collins Jr., CFP®, EA

It is always wise to listen to those who have come before us.  They have experience and wisdom that younger generations lack.  That is why I found the post done by WSJ columnist Jonathan Clements so insightful.  Here are 11 changes he sees in himself, and others, as they age:

  1. We’re less confident we can beat the market, but more confident we know what we’re doing.
  2. We are freer with our money—but more calculating with our time.
  3. We care less about what others think and more about what we value.
  4. We’ve stopped buying possessions for their lasting value and started purchasing experiences for the happiness they can deliver.
  5. We are less physically courageous, but braver in the face of market declines.
  6. We pay more heed to what today’s decisions mean for tomorrow—which is ironic, given that time is now in shorter supply.
  7. We’re less bothered by life’s nonsense—unless you’re a telemarketer or sender of spam, in which case we think you deserve to fry.
  8. We used to think the rich and famous were to be admired, but now we see their foibles and view them as flawed—just like the rest of us.
  9. We are less likely to listen solely to our gut and more likely to pause long enough to let the contemplative side of our brains have its say.
  10. We’re quicker to concede we simply don’t know—and less certain we have the precise right answer.
  11. We no longer imagine we’ll leave a significant mark on the world, and yet we’re more anxious than ever to do work we think is important.

While I’m not yet 64, I must say I have learned some of these lessons the hard way and am still working on others.  There is one lessons that, if you truly believe it, would dramatically impact your investment behavior and results.  Number 10- we’re quicker to conceded we simply don’t know- and less certain we have the precise right answer.  The longer I have been in this industry, the more I realize I have no idea where the market is heading, what direction interest rates are going and what the next best investment will be.  I am just as convinced that no one else knows this either.  When you come to this realization it changes how you invest.  You don’t take big bets, you play the odds and you consider all points of view.

Hopefully, there are some lessons in this list that resonate with you!