Today’s Dose of Positivity
Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today
Cherokee proverb (NC Amerindian tribe)
Word of the Day
Iatrogenesis. Health conditions replated to interactions with medical care professionals. From the Greek, ‘originating with a physician’. The NIH & AMA place its 5th in the lineup of human mortality. 5% - 8% of global human deaths in 2021. An inadvertent adverse effect resulting from medical treatment or advice.
Can I coin a new word? Chrimagenesis. Economic health conditions resulting from interactions with financial professionals.
We could begin with banks. We pay them to hold our cash and loans. We pay them when we want to take our cash or loans. We earn interest at the approved rate, set by The Federal Reserve. When a bank is in trouble, rather than go through the messy but inexpensive bankruptcy process, a larger bank simply takes it over. Call it a merger or a shark attack as you wish. Oversight? Done by bank Board members upon themselves, as they often sit on boards, groups and support entities supposedly working on your behalf. Also known as guilds.
How do banks screw up? Poor portfolio management and mismatched liquidity. The first is the opposite of what we at TRG do: we match risks to expectations. If expectations are for rates to increase, you shorten maturities – from 30 years to 3-6 months. The yield curve has inverted; thus, the best rates are short term. These may also offer the lowest risk, as they are liquid on each very short maturity date. The second is also the opposite to what we do at TRG: we match your portfolio income to your income needs. When banks ‘go long’ on low yield Treasuries while offering high yield short term CDs and business loans to the public, they are mismatched to liquidity.
Let’s turn to our profession, financial advice. As a fiduciary, I am obligated to always work for your best interests. I must respect your tolerance for risk, tax exposure, experience, and time constraints. I must provide you with facts and knowledge so that you can make informed decisions. And I must explain any fees or expenses related to investing. There are more, but this is the short list.
We have met thousands of advisors in our three decades of working for you. Many have the fiduciary mindset. Many lack it. Many are gatherers – they pool your funds with thousands of other investors in what they believe to be the best investment choices. A few of us are hunters – we seek the best choices through a thorough analysis of markets, finance, your financial situation, and risk tolerances. Rather than rely upon what we are told, we seek our own measure. We have always been few in number. We tend to the background, creating ideas rather than following the latest trends. We typically offer lower fees to you. As business owners, we keep an eye to our own bottom lines and pass on these potential cost savings to you.
Then there are ‘the governments’. These are the local, county, state, national and supranational units, certainly. This category may also include today’s ‘thought leaders’. An interesting term for - salesmen. These folks are marketeers of their products or services. They can be private, political, cultural, societal, religious, or ‘nonprofit’. They tend to the communications industries. They have agendas for governing you and push them, often very hard. Think TV, media, film, religious, political and the wide variety of ‘extremist groups. You can define this phrase as you see fit. Views may change. What was good for the Christians in Hawaii in the 1800s is bad for the Moslems in Afghanistan today.
This group allows us to pay a ‘voluntary tax’ – their fee. Subscriptions. Speaking fees. Dues. Tithes. Memberships. Rewards. The list is extensive. And very remunerative to them. They make money by telling you what to think and what to do. Most of the public are adept at following instructions…
As an interesting example, virtually all of us enjoy watching ‘action films’. Thin plot lines, weak character development. Lots of shots fired and oozing blood. And killing. We pay to watch bloody murder on the silver screen. Death is profitable. The bloodier the better. It was so in Rome, medieval times globally, during most of the 20th century and today on TV and the internet. Sharon and I readily admit to enjoying Gladiator – more than a few times. Why is such blood lust from such peaceful folk? That’s the subject of a future missive!
Here’s my point: chrimagenesis, my newly coined word, describes health conditions related to financial professionals. You can suffer negatively from it, or we can work positively towards it. We like to think that we work towards your crimagenetic good health.
We can readily describe the actions and results of working with those who have their own agendas regarding your financial health. Anyone can tell you what to do. Much of the time, we do it. But we must retain the right to say ‘No, I disagree. I will take my own path.’
The difference between the creatures in Animal Farm. All animals are equal. Some are more equal than others. Four legs good, two legs bad. George Orwell was quite an iconoclast. In very different times. Who is our iconoclast today?
Love with Abandon!
John Graves, AIF, CLU, ChFC
The Renaissance Group, LLC
805.652.6942 fax 805.652.6930
199 Figueroa Street, Suite 101A Ventura, CA 93001
CA Insurance License 0689525
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Investment Advisor Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Adviser. Financial Planning Services offered through The Renaissance Group, LLC. The Renaissance Group and Cambridge are not affiliated.
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