It’s been said that delegation is a mark of wisdom. Do you delegate the things that others can do so you can focus on the things only you can do? We can choose to delegate activities out of convenience like mowing the lawn or shopping for groceries. We can also choose to delegate activities that require significant training like medical care, investing or building a house. Thoughtful delegation is essential for our individual success – both financial and psychological.
I know that when I take medicine it can make me feel better, but I don’t need to know how the pill interacts with my cells to make it all happen. I am grateful that my doctor knows this so I can benefit from her knowledge. If we weren’t strategically ignorant about certain things, we wouldn’t have the capacity to become an expert or specialist in other things.
There is simply too much information for us to process everything. Selective attention and delegation not only make the economies function, but they make us all need each other. We value each other and are grateful for others’ expertise where we are ignorant, and vice versa.
When it comes to investing, there is a daily avalanche of information available. The news story of the day, the quote of the hour and the many unreliable predictions do not help investors achieve better results. To the contrary, many studies have shown that investors that pay attention to such fleeting information trade more often and achieve lower returns.1 In addition, the constantly changing market information produces greater stress and anxiety, which may weigh heavily on our personal lives and relationships.
As we come upon the Thanksgiving season, I am grateful that I have a choice of what I pay attention to and what I ignore. We cannot control the volume, frequency, or insanity of information, but we can choose what we allow in our minds.
With investing there is always something to worry about; always has been, always will be. But that is your choice. I have not heard of a single person, on their death bed, that wished they would have watched the market more often. Be wise by exercising delegation in those things that detract from your happiness focus your time and attention on what really matters.
©2021 The Behavioral Finance Network
- Dalbar, Inc. Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior