How to deal with investing blind spots

Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner™ and creator of the Sketch Guy column, appearing weekly in The New York Times since 2010.  The following article is reproduced with permission from his weekly newsletter and his website can be found here.

Greetings, Carl here.

We all have blind spots, and by definition, you can’t see your own.

Let me give you an example.

One time, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. Let’s call him Dave. Dave was a retired investment banker who really knew his way around money. If anyone knew how to invest, it was him. But he was looking for help managing his portfolio. I asked him, “Dave, of all the people I know, you’re in the best position to deal with your own money. Why do you need help?”

“Carl,” he replied, “I could manage my own money, except for the ‘I’ part.”

He recognized that when it came to his own money, he had blind spots. He recognized the value of having someone else help him see the mistakes he might make.

This is an important point to understand: You don’t hire a coach, a financial advisor, or a consultant because you’re stupid. You hire one because they are not you… and, by definition, that means they will see things about you that you cannot see about yourself.

And that, my friends, in and of itself, is invaluable.


P.S. As always, if you want to use this week’s sketch, you can buy it here.