• You Are Not a Stock Specialist, and That’s Okay

    January 1, 2021

    I recently scratched up my car. While pulling out of a tight parking spot, I overlooked one of those pesky yellow caution poles and, as you guessed it, scraped the rear door on my driver’s side. Let me tell you that the yellow scratches it left do not go well with my silver paint job. The next morning, I went to three collision centers to determine how much damage was done and estimate the repairs. I selected the best one to fix my car, and everything is back to normal.

    The one thing I never considered while trying to repair the self-inflicted damage to my car was, “I wonder if I could do it myself” or “I wonder if anyone else out there can walk me through it.” Not at one point was I moved to solicit my Facebook friends or take a picture of the damage to post it to Instagram to ask for help. I knew that my failure to negotiate backing out would require the use of a specialist if I didn’t want my car to look like I sideswiped Big Bird.

    However, many of us working full time and specialists in our own right find it necessary to add the title “asset manager” or “investing professional” to our resume. There are countless financial professionals out there who have put in hours and years to become qualified to provide investment advice. It takes time to get your MBA, CFA, CFP, and FINRA Licenses. Why does it take so long? There are so many changes in the market. You need to grasp what is happening currently and understand where we have been to know where the market is going.

    Nevertheless, I see many people turning to social media and posting, “What stocks are you buying?” The problem with this approach is that 90% of people you are asking do not know what they are doing, and the 10% who do probably will not help you because why should they. This approach is like the blind leading the blind.

    You are not a stock specialist, and that’s okay. If you had a severe accident at home, you would call a doctor. If you had a terrible toothache, you would see a dentist. If you had a busted pipe in your home that caused your basement to flood, you would call a plumber. So, why do we trust our “instinct” or social network more than we trust paid financial professionals?

    Regardless of what you do for a living, strive to be the damn best person alive in your position. Taking on the added responsibility of trying to discern the stock market or outperform Warren Buffet will only cause more unnecessary stress in the long run. As I did with my car, you should trust a specialist. You’ll thank me later.

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