One of my kids asked why it is so difficult to get good people to run for president. I responded that there were probably multiple reasons but one might be that if you put anyone’s life under a magnifying glass, you are likely to find a lot of things that you did not want to see.
This was brought home to me the other day in a most unusual way. Launa returned from shopping, so pleased to have found the perfect vanity mirror for her make-up table. It is one of those magnifying ones that has a bright light so you can see your face up close, and very clearly.
Having never used one of these mirrors before, I decided to give it a try. Sitting down in the chair I turned on the light and had a look at my face. Launa is probably still laughing at my shocked reaction to seeing my face so magnified for the first time. Noticing all the flaws and blemishes I quickly pushed the mirror away and exclaimed that some things were never meant to be seen that close-up. I wondered how anyone could ever be pleased with their appearance if they looked at themselves in one of those mirrors.
As I pondered the concept of looking too closely, I felt a flood of understanding pouring through as I realized in many areas of our lives, we look at ourselves too closely. We focus too often on all the little flaws, and in so doing, miss the big beautiful picture. Like a wonderful painting, life is made up of tiny, insignificant, and often unappealing brushstrokes, but step back just a bit and a beautiful painting emerges.
I have tried much of my career to help investors view their portfolio as a single big picture, rather than focusing on all the little, often imperfect pieces. A properly diversified portfolio is designed to create financial balance, and balance implies that some things will do well under conditions where other things may not do so well. Ironically, in a properly allocated portfolio, there may never be a time when all investments are performing as you would like. The point of diversification is to create balance that results in accomplishing your overall goal.
For most people, the goal of a portfolio is to provide a reasonable rate of return over the course of life, during good times and bad, with an acceptable level of volatility. Whether a couple of your dozens of investments are up or down at any point in time is not important. What is important is that the portfolio as a whole is fulfilling its purpose. If we obsess with getting out our financial magnifying glass and focusing on finding the flaws, we will forever be selling, changing and being frustrated with the investments that we have.
When evaluating your life, your investments, or even your face, put away that magnifying glass and step back a little. You may then find the big picture looks a whole lot better.
Hi, I'm Dan. I'm a CFP® Professional.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.
Member www.finra.org / www.sipc.org , a Registered Investment Advisor. Wyson Financial, 1173 S. 250 W. Suite 505, St. George, UT 84770.
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