2012: Hope Springs – Frankel
I’m a fan of Meryl Streep – but her latest film “Hope Springs” is not as advertised (in my humble opinion). The radio and tv adverts suggest that this is a hilarious comedy. Whilst it has its comedic moments, this is actually a story of an empty nest couple who have a marriage without intimacy. Weathered by the years it is a well observed, but all-too sugary unveiling of lives built upon functionality, which becomes dysfunctional. This film lands some tough punches, but ducks the really big questions.
At the weekend I was at a family celebration for a 50th wedding anniversary and the week before a 25th. We all probably have a reaction to these “landmarks” however whilst I am very much an advocate that relationships must be worked at in order to thrive, (often the work is hard) there is a degree to which there is a portion of luck involved. For starters, that both desire to want to work at the relationship and perhaps that time is not cut short by events way beyond our control. Luck, it might therefore be acknowledged, however “small” is perhaps a vital ingredient. Turning this to the world of investment, I’m not a fan of “luck” yet often those that have the best stories to tell were frankly, lucky – the sort of luck that does not get repeated regularly. Fund Managers work to get their research to a level where one would observe that perhaps investing is nothing more than a science, yet the truth is that the research is little more than a basis for decisions, not a crystal ball. Interpretation is an art and sometimes they get lucky and sometimes they don’t. Many of them are bright and skilled at what they do, but over the longer term, the “luck” tends to average out as performance reverts to “average”.  This is why, my clients are encouraged to take a long-term view of investments, we don’t think that its possible to consistently beat the market (unless you cheat or the market is rigged). As with relationships, the quality is in the effort made to gain understanding, to meet expectations and work together for the same ends.
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