Calm and Methodical

Last year the S&P 500 ended up being five percent. This year it’s up ten percent but is now six percent from its high and basically frustrating everyone.

Fifteen years ago, as a clueless retail broker, I would have spent my day on twelve different phone calls with twelve different clients talking about twenty or thirty different stocks and why they’re up or down and what may come next for each of them. It’s, frankly, kind of embarrassing to think back on those days and how the industry managed money for households.

These days, the way of the walk is calm and methodical. There are rules in place to govern which actions we’ll take, when and why. There are tactics that are planned in advance, executed according to a checklist, and the decision-making process is more robust for what it doesn’t include rather than for how many seemingly sophisticated inputs we could jam into it.

I don’t think I could survive the current markets had I continued on with the way things used to be. Conversations would be absurd, and each day’s activity would have more closely resembled triage in a blood-stained civil war field hospital rather than the orderly, systematic money management operation we run today.

I think I take what’s been built around me by the team for granted in certain market environments. Not in this one.

Here’s a Morgan Housel quote from his new piece this week that really sums it up better than I could:

Napoleon’s definition of a military genius is the person “who

Keep reading this article on The Reformed Brocker.

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