Weekend Reads for Finance Pros: Fiduciary Protection, Mindfulness, and Courage
Every now and then I come across something so good, I immediately scribble it (or type it) down lest I forget. That’s what happened when I shared a quote about courage with some of my colleagues, including Jason Voss, CFA. It turns out he knows a thing or two about the topic: Courage is one of the seven essential behaviors he writes about in his book The Intuitive Investor. Voss told me his favorite quote about courage comes from the movie Three Kings. The scene is just prior to the characters going into battle to rescue a captured comrade:
Conrad Vig (CV): Wait, hold on a minute, I wanna go over this plan one more time.
Archie Gates (AG): You’re scared, right?
AG: The way this works is, you do the thing you’re scared sh*tless of, and you get the courage after you do it. Not before you do it.
CV: That’s a dumb-ass way to work. It should be the other way around.
AG: I know, [but] that’s the way it works.
Why is this his favorite quote?
“Many people think they lack courage to make a decision,” he told me. “It is as if mentally they do a check on the ‘amount of courage’ in their ‘courage fuel tank.’ If something seems scary, then they don’t do it and they say, ‘I don’t have courage.’ The quote rightly highlights that courage is choosing to act in the face of anxiety.”
So readers, go forth, and be courageous.
- May Jo White, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said her agency should move to set uniform standards for the way financial advisers recommend investments and take advantage of a power granted by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law. (Wall Street Journal)
- “How to Pump Up Retirement Income by as Much as 30%” (MarketWatch)
- “Finke: Lack of Fiduciary Protection for Elderly Is ‘Insane’” (ThinkAdvisor)
- “Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: The Trust Cost of Cash” (The Finance Buff)
Work Culture and Gender Diversity
- On meetings:
— Marissa Pick (@marissapick) March 16, 2015
- “Businesses on the Mindfulness Bandwagon” explores two interesting questions: Companies have adopted the Buddhist discipline but can an ethical philosophy coexist with corporate culture? And does it really work? (Financial Times)
- “Men Pitch in to Boost Women at Work” (Wall Street Journal)
- Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg write that “teams that fail to leverage the skills of a diverse work force fall behind.” See: “How Men Can Succeed in the Boardroom and Bedroom.” (New York Times)
- “The confidence gap between men and women is well documented. But it is also clear that a lack of confidence does not necessarily equate to a lack of competence (or the other way around.) So the challenge for workplaces is to enable people without natural swagger to be heard and get promoted.” See: “The Kleiner Perkins Lawsuit, and Rethinking the Confidence-Driven Workplace” (New York Times)
- “What it Means to be a Woman in Finance in 2015” (BlackRock)
And Now For Something Completely Different
- I’m a grammar pedant. Which is why I love lists like this: “20 Embarrassing Phrases Even Smart People Misuse” (Inc.)
- Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal found an amazing print from 1899 titled “The Fool and His Money.” The more things change, the more they stay the same:
— Jason Zweig (@jasonzweigwsj) March 17, 2015
- “The Church of TED” (The New Yorker)
- A moving essay by by Paul Kalanithi, then aged 36 and chief resident in neurological surgery at Stanford University, on confronting a diagnosis of metastic lung cancer: “How Long Have I Got Left?” (New York Times)
- I first came across University of Houston professor Brené Brown when I watched her popular 2010 TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” Last week I stumbled upon a 2012 interview with Brown about her book, Daring Greatly. There are lots of nuggets of wisdom in “Exhaustion Is Not a Status Symbol,” including this observation: “‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.” It takes courage to take a step back and take off the armor.
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All posts are the opinion of the author. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
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