It isn't Father's Day yet but I have been thinking quite a bit about mine, having spent the last week proofing my Dad's autobiography. Growing up in a Catholic orphanage in Detroit, and then at age 13 being sent out to make his own way in the world, he lived a life that would be quite foreign to most American's today.
With just an eighth grade education, he was easily the most intelligent and educated person I knew. He was an avid reader and lifetime pursuer of truth, leaving behind a massive library of books when he died. He preferred topics that educated the mind or enlarged the soul. The few works of fiction he owned would be those of a classical nature that taught great moral lessons.
My dad was not alive when Google filed for incorporation in 1998. With a stated mission to "Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible," my dad would have loved Google and the internet with its vast access to knowledge.
In the recent years I have begun to wonder if the internet has really made us any smarter, or has it just filled our minds with largely useless information. It seems to have turned us into a society obsessed with the pursuit of trivialities.
I was fascinated in 1998 when I first learned I could find the answer to any question on my computer. Now when I seek answers, or even when I don't, I am besieged with stories about Aliens in New York, cities on Venus, and endless conspiracy theories. The informational trash the world once reserved for the grocery store checkout line, now appears anytime my kids want to find the answer to a simple geography question.
All this information leads to increased confusion among investors, who are constantly asking me if I heard about the secret plan to abolish the dollar, or that China is conspiring to send the U.S. back to the stone age. (Never mind that China depends desperately on a healthy U.S. buying loads of their products.) We once use the internet to search for truth. Now it is often the untruths of the internet that come searching for us.
Like my dad, I love to read a good book. The time and commitment required gives you the opportunity to evaluate the information, ponder the theories, and formulate a personal opinion. Today's rapid fire internet delivery, often designed by marketing firms to sell you something, generally seeks to bypass reason and go straight for an emotional reaction. When these headlines and emotionally charged claims overshadow serious thought, we are at risk of making poor investment decisions.
In many ways the information rich modern internet fails investors in their pursuit of knowledge and ideas. Taking regular breaks from modern media to ponder wisdom in an old fashioned, well written book, would likely result in far less investing mistakes. There are many great books to choose from. Feel free to contact me if you would like some recommendations.
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.
This communication is strictly intended for individuals residing in the states of AZ,CA,CO,DC,FL,HI,ID,IL,KS,KY,MA,MI,MN,MO,MT,NE,NM,NV,OH,OR,SD,TX,UT,VA,WA,WY. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident outside these states due to various state regulations and registration requirements regarding investment products and services.