The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Farewell to Arms…………

12/15/2009

Long-time readers know that I have proudly served for many years on the certification committee of a prestigious national investment association. For a number of reasons, we recently began making the examination process more difficult, which was fine. But, we became increasingly technical, finding a formula for every question. I recall Warren Buffett saying “Don’t do equations with Greek letters in them.” Given the collapse of almost every asset class last year, the whole concept of Modern Portfolio Theory has been called into question. However, instead of incorporating new information into our concept of investing, I felt we were desperately clutching what we were originally taught, fearful it might need to be updated.

It was a very wise person indeed who said “neither investing nor war making nor love making is hard science”. Nothing supplements education like years of experience, proven judgement and the ability to keep learning. I felt like we were giving a new toolbox full of shiny tools to a bunch of grade-school kids calling themselves financial advisors.

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