No Monkey business

I’m no guru or expert.

If you want to know what’s going to happen in the future, you’ll have more success asking the monkey in this picture, rather than me.



So many people in financial services are searching for what is going to happen in the future, that they waste huge amounts of time consuming useless and irrelevant information.

I think this problem is even worse with the sheer quantity of information that is now available due to the internet.

So many of us have become data-crack-addicts, both in financial services and in everyday life.

Apparently, we now spend on average 23 days a year on our smartphones!

I’m not entirely sure how smart that is. Still, at least I know about all the players that will never actually move to the Premier League through my cult like use of the Transfer Gossip Columns.

Whenever I’m somewhere waiting for something or someone, I’m always randomly looking at my phone for no apparent reason. I honestly can’t recall what I did before smartphones? Maybe just waited patiently, or bizarrely, I may have struck up a conversation with a real person.

Screw the screentime

Even when we’re consuming information that is useful and that will expand our understanding, most of it is rewording, repositioning or simply repeating other people’s ideas and insights. There are really only a handful of people in the world who are the true ‘experts’ in their field. The rest of us are simply repackaging and using their knowledge.

In the quest to increase our wealth, we have a tendency to waste the most precious of resources; our time.

Perhaps the monkey does things the right way.

Why waste your time reading every article you can find on current affairs and attempting to remain ‘in the know’ when you can spend your time swinging from a tree, eating, play fighting and mating.

From an investment perspective, too much information can actually cause too many decisions to be made. Contrary to each of our own egos, there’s just as much chance that we will make the wrong decision as we will the right one.

Using this way of thinking we can conclude this.

By making fewer decisions, we guarantee a reduction in the total number of mistakes we will make over the course of our investing lives.

In our quest to appear more intelligent than we actually are, we also have a huge tendency to overcomplicate things. This is especially true in financial services.

Simple is the best, there really is no need to overcomplicate.

In a cynical moment, I may even suggest the complications are to make you part with your money because you couldn’t possible understand the unnecessary overcomplication, or have the time or desire to do so!

So, whilst I have a wide range of knowledge on financial matters, I’m not an expert and most of the time i’m not even remotely aware of what is going on in financial markets on a day to day basis.

I spend most of my time attempting to understand longer term trends and building financial wisdom, most of which is obtained by reading books of a historical nature. Thankfully the kindle has made it possible to do this without having to rummage in dusty old book collections.

So please accept that I don’t really know what the FTSE is doing today.

I’m not entirely sure who’s side we’re actually on in the middle east. Anyones? Noones?

I have no idea who is the top pop artist. Couldn’t care less who’s won X-factor. Don’t know what’s in fashion or what some minor celebrity is doing.

All these things waste your time and detract from patiently creating and building wealth, so you have the freedom to enjoy your life and pursue your goals.

Just like the monkey, I’d much rather spend my time swinging from a tree and scratching my bum. If you happen to see me, please don’t laugh and take pictures!

Remember, it’s the monkey’s that are smart. We’re the idiots!

The time wasting, wealth destructing idiots!

Get in touch today for a personal, independent, and comprehensive financial plan.

Mark Underdown | DipPFS IMC CeMap

Financial Planning Consultant


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