The New York Times recently published an article titled “Dealing With an Investing Blind Spot”. According to the author, a blind spot, by definition, is something that we can’t see. Therefore, it is deeply beneficial to us when we’re open to feedback about our blind spots.
This is a simple concept, but one that should not be overlooked. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, I’m daily in the business of helping people see and overcome their financial planning blind spots. This is important because sometimes these blind spots can be costly. I’ve seen blind spots wipe out entire retirement portfolios. While not quite as severe, a recent example of a blind spot involves a client who has a SIMPLE IRA through his employer. When I was reviewing his multiple investment accounts, I noticed that the client failed to select investments for his SIMPLE IRA account. Consequently, this client has had his entire retirement account invested in cash for over a decade! While this would have been helpful when the market hit a low in 2009, the market has, until recently, been in the midst of a six-year bull market that has seen the S&P 500 stock index increase more than 200%. The sad consequence of this scenario is that this client could have more than doubled his money in the critical years just before his retirement. After taking into account the current low-interest rate environment and inflation adjusted returns, this client has actually lost money on his retirement account over the past decade.
It is important to be open to feedback when it comes to one’s financial bind spots. Working with a competent, fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner can help one avoid such costly mistakes.