"I can see, and that is why I can
be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a
God-made world, not a man-made world." ~ Helen Keller
Have you ever asked a person who was born physically blind how they define "beauty?" If not, what do you think they would say? Is it a fair assumption to make that those of us with "sight" might actually have a greater potential for error in judgment and a more distorted perception of reality than a person without sight?
In my experience with (and observations of) investing and personal finance, I have recognized a high correlation between exposure to media noise and poor judgment. I have realized that the greatest value I am able to provide to clients is not my investing and personal finance skills and knowledge, but a logical, non-emotional perspective on their money.
"...your brain uses information from the areas around the blind spot to make a reasonable guess about what the blind spot would see if only it weren't blind and then your brain fills in the scene with this information. That's right, it invents things, creates things, makes stuff up! It doesn't consult you about this, doesn't seek your approval. It just makes its best guess about the nature of the missing information and proceeds to fill in the scene..." ~ Daniel Gilbert
When it comes to money and investing (or any aspect of life), invariably a "blind spot" of some kind will exist. Naturally, our imagination will fill in the empty spaces of this blind spot based upon incomplete information. And, as we discussed in my recent post, We Are All 'Naive Scientists', not only is this information incomplete but it is often based upon false premises.
Often, these false premises come from our physical senses, rather than our "mind's eye." The ultimate in paradox is that our vision has great potential to blind our better judgment -- and a person who is physically blind may have a better sense of reality than those of us with sight!
I'll leave you with this final thought: Which investor, left to their own devices, do you believe would likely achieve higher long-term investment returns -- the investor who watches and listens to every turn of the stock market on CNBC or the investor who can physically see and hear nothing?