Tag Archives: decisions

On paper

No one knows the future.

duties of a life insurance agent

I am sure you have been approached by some form of insurance broker in your life. If not, its only a matter of time before you have that privilege.

And you will get the whole pitch of how you need to invest and put money away. And they will pull out a chart and show you how over time your money will grow and this is the possible outcome. And just as your eyes light up and you about say “Where can I sign up?”…….

You get the disclaimer, that past performance is not indicative of future perfomance…..

And somehow they show you a chart of what? The past. I always chuckle when they do that. They showing you past perfomance in order to sign you up. Bu the disclaimer just does not get your hopes up does it. There are no guarantees with markets. And they are correct, there will be no sure thing when it comes to the markets, or we would all be wealthy right?

The thing is, what other information would people accept? Surely they cannot come to you and say, “Hey, are you willing to throw some cash in this fund and we will see what the markets do?” Not very convincing is it?

Yet that is more true than the chart. We really do not know, we can guesstimate, but no sure thing exists there.

We do the same in life, when a situation arises and we have to choose, we go with what we know to be true. We pretty much use our past to determine our future in its most simplest terms.

My question that I pose to myself is how that has worked for me. Since I may want different to what I have now, surely I cannot decide based on the past. Unless of course I am content here and don’t want different things.

Children don’t do that though (for obvious reason since they do not have anything to gauge it against they only have to try it). I think there is a bit of wisdom in that.

Now I am a proper skeptic in life hey, and I never jump both feet in. I always consider all angles…..

But getting back to the point, on paper all these things look good, but real life can often shock or surprise you. Life, markets, people are not dead things, are not one dimensional either, there are curve balls and many factors to consider. In fact they impossible to predict.

Its a frustrating thing to a predicter, a planner like me. One has to find that balance though.

I am not saying throw caution to the wind… that would just be dumb. But if you want something different then surely you cannot make a decision solely on your past. Since that got you where you are today. You want to be wealthy, but currently not…. Need I answer that one?

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

Its good to look at the charts, its good to do your homework, but it will amount to nothing if you never take a step out of where you are.

I know how hard it is, I have forced myself many times to shut that little voice inside. But I can’t live with myself if I don’t try.

So my disclaimer is that by no means am I meaning for you to signup with the insurance broker. You can if you want, but first ask them how they amassed their peronal wealth. If they not wealthy……..well then don’t.

But if you want to have different things in life, do different things. Hang with different people, change. Take a side step. After all its not working now is it….


The Storstad and the Empress

Clearly not the actual boats of that day, but you get the picture

The Storstad and the Empress were 2 ships that collided in 1914.

To explain what caused it lets have a look at the circumstances. Firstly it was early the morning, and they had come across heavy fog. Now normal procedure for difficult visibility situations was simply to stop. A complete stop. Yet the Storstad did not it slowed down. This resulted in the collision. It was one of the worst maritime disasters the Storstad did not just slice into the Empress it continued forward resulting in more deaths. 1,073 people lost their lives in that one. The Empress also had not sealed its water tight doors which added to the disaster. It sunk in 14 mins

I can remember another situation in one of the world wars (I cannot remember the specifics like dates and which war so don’t shoot me). It was the American ships and they were all losing their way at sea in terms of finding the destination.
Nobody could figure out why, until they discovered that when the ships hit fog, the Captains would try to change course.
They realised later that instead of trying to avoid it, they should simply keep the original coordinates and slow down, eventually they would make it through and get to where they needed to go.

I think both stories describe a period we all go through in life at various times and stages. We hit a “fog” patch and we cannot see our way forward. Do we still plod along like the Storstad even though we cannot see? Or do we simply stop like the empress and simply leave ourselves unprotected and at the mercy of what we cannot see around us?

I think there is a lesson in this for us all. When we cannot see, don’t make life altering decisions. Sit down and stop if you have to, but like the American ships did, don’t try and avoid it. Go through what you have to go through, but don’t make major decisions in the fog. Stick to what you decided when you could see.

The Storstad and Empress was a series of unfortunate events (who never experiences those ones hey) but we can learn from things, even though there were procedures in place. Sometimes people just ignore them and other people suffer. But that does not mean we should just sit there and hope for the best. We should be vigilant and do what we can while going through these things.
It will only take you off course.

Wait until the fog clears…..