Real Curves

There is a recurring debate about how woman they are portrayed in the media. It would seem that the curves of the 1950’s have been largely replaced by a more angular look. Increasingly in the age of instant feedback on our appearance (thanks Facebook, Twitter et al) there is growing pressure to look a certain way – whether you are male or female…

In reality whatever you believe to be the “right shape”, it would certainly seem that not even the “models” live up to the image that is produced…. the makeup artist, lighting and photographer may do their best to make the model look their “best” but invariably software, has replaced airbrushing and used to “adjust the image”. The final image is rarely reality. This of course is a classic marketing trick – make something look better than it really is. The financial services industry is no better in this regard, perhaps worse. Fashion tends to operate in cycles… so to do investors.

This gap, shall we call it the perception gap, is evident too in the world of investing. Here is one chart that is helpful and concerns investor perception. The investor sentiment curve. This is one of the few investment graphs worth reflecting on. Before investing your money, you presumably will taken a view on “where we are” in this cycle. Be warned that your opinion may differ considerably from that of the investment manager. This will probably impact the decisions that an investment manager will make and the results you achieve. Given the current problems in the world, whether that’s China, Ukraine, Russia or Greece or whatever today’s news suggests is a problem, reflect on this image. Alternatively you could elect not to “play the game” but to appreciate that these cycles occur, there is little that anyone can do about them. This is probably wise for those already invested, but perhaps a little blase for those about to make a substantial investment.


Don’t play the game

The chart above explains why so many people (professionals included) underperform the market. The markets are not sentimental. Most investors react to news and as a consequence experience these feelings outlined above. The market is not the place to gain emotional maturity, the lesson it teaches is that time in the market will provide a better experience than trying to time the market. Do not make investing an emotional experience, it is a discipline.

Changing the real you?

It is interesting to note that from studies across the world, FinaMetrica (the risk profiling tool that we use for our clients) have found that the vast majority of clients do not change their general attitude towards risk, some do, but most do not. Most investors are… well “medium risk” which is a very unhelpful term, but something that most of us probably know in our core being.

Be yourself, not your investment adviser

Conversely, most financial advisers and investment managers score far more highly on the risk scoring system – they are higher risk takers. This might be for a number of reasons, perhaps more aware about how markets operate but also perhaps because the majority are wedded to the success of markets. This may and would have an impact on your investments if you simply opted for the advisers appetite for risk rather than your own. That is why I believe it is really important, vital even, for you to ensure that your appetite for risk and your capacity for loss are your own and not mine, or anyone else’s. Getting your portfolio right should mean that whilst there will be disappointments at times, there should not be unexpected results.

Real Women Have Curves

As in other aspects of life, there are many that will attempt to reduce almost everything to the point that conformity and uniformity are indistinguishable… this in mind, here is the trailer for the 2002 award winning film “Real Women Have Curves” starring America Ferrera, who is best known for her leading role as “Ugly Betty” and you may have been fortunate to see in the West End in one of the many productions of Chicago.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email