Crying Wolf

There are plenty of people in the financial world that are guilty of crying wolf. Because they always preach the same message, we just have to eventually tune them out. Isaac will gives us examples of times that he has seen people make bad financial decisions because they’ve been influenced by one of these wolf-criers.


John Stillman: Welcome in once again to Wright Money Tips. I'm John Stillman alongside Isaac Wright, Chartered Financial Consultant and President of Financial Dynamics & Associates. Isaac, I can't believe we're letting you do this, two podcasts in a row. But dude, you've been so good on the radio recently that we keep having these conversations from the radio that we want to let everybody make sure they hear in podcast form.

Isaac Wright: No, I think we've talked about a little bit of some of the shows that we've recorded here. Just thankfully we've had a lot of response, it's been pretty positive on our summer shows. So, wanted to forward those over here on the podcast for people just to take a listen, some of the things that we're covering on Sunday morning, that sometimes you may not be available to hear, but equally as important when it comes to some of the financial concerns that we're trying to help people solve here, especially here locally.

John Stillman: Yep. So this was a conversation from a couple of weeks ago on the Retire Wright Show where we talked about the boy who cried wolf. And who is the boy who cried wolf in the financial world? So here's that conversation.

John Stillman: Isaac, I'm sure you remember from childhood, the old story about the boy who cried wolf. Everybody knows this story, right? So there are a lot of people in the financial world that cry wolf. The notable part about that story is that the wolf does eventually come. It's not just that everybody's mad that you're saying there's a wolf, and you know, when there's not a wolf, then people are mad at you for being liar.

John Stillman: Now, the real moral of the story is that the wolf eventually comes and then you're in trouble because there's nobody that believes you. Right? So, we have these people in the financial world that are constantly crying wolf about one thing or another. And maybe even if they eventually get something right, it's hard to credit them for that, because if you make the same prediction every year for 10 years, well, yeah, you'll eventually be right.

John Stillman: So one of those types of folks is the permabear, we'll call him. So that's somebody who's just always negative about the future direction of the stock market and the economy. I'm sure you've seen these people in the news and I'm sure they probably drive you crazy.

Isaac Wright: Oh, I can name some names, man.

John Stillman: Do it, feel free.

Isaac Wright: Well, here's the thing. And I don't, I mean, again, you can YouTube and see everything now on social media, everybody has a mic in front of them. But the problem with what I would call the permabears is this is, in my opinion, is because they, and if you ever look at this to a great degree, they're info marketers at heart. And what they're doing is they're going in and creating that message of fear, which drives them to let's say, take a next step and then a next step after that, and you're part of their, call it newsletter or whatever, you fill in the blank.

Isaac Wright: The problem is this, is a lot of those permabears for the last 10, 11 years have obviously been proven wrong. Now, granted, we've had a outside of the box situation to say the least, with the coronavirus. That's given them another platform. Now, all of a sudden they've raged back into Vogue, but as we all know, the markets are going to have cyclical moves up and down. And for a temporary period, if you ever look back and you look at the history of bear markets, most of them are fairly short actually. But if you were to watch a lot of these permabears, I mean it literally, Hey time to build a bunker.

Isaac Wright: Well, listen, if that's the world you want to live in, I don't know necessarily that's reality. Yeah, there are always going to be challenges, and I think Warren Buffett said this best. He said, "You just don't bet against the American people." And sometimes I think that those permabears listen, they have the right to their opinion. I think it's important to also recognize when you're wrong. And the problem I see with permabears is they really don't ever recognize their previous mistakes, John. I think you and I have talked about this before. It's like they've magically forgot that they were wrong for the last 10 years and now they're magically right.

Isaac Wright: I think it's always important if you're going to be real with somebody is to say, "Hey, listen, I've been a permabear for the last X amount of years, but guess what? For 10 years in a row, I was proven wrong, but now I'm not maybe necessarily being proven wrong today." They would garner more respect versus just continually pushing the same message. So, for what it's worth for all of you listening today, if you've ever listened to my radio show, I've actually made opinions and suggestions that have changed relative to interest rates, relative to the economic conditions we're in. And of course, you've listened to me about the coronavirus here for the last few months.

Isaac Wright: We've had a lot of phone calls and people reaching out to us because they appreciate the fact that we're not telling people everything is needing to be done in one way. So, hope that's helpful to all of you. Again, feel free to call me (804) 777-9999. The last thing you will ever hear me is cry Wolf. I try to be as very fair and upfront with everything with what you see in the media, especially today.

John Stillman: Again, (804) 777-9999, if you'd like some good, common sense discussion, instead of a hysteria. So at the other end of the spectrum from the permabear is the permabull, the person who always thinks that the market and the economy are always going to be great, no matter what, Any piece of news that comes out, they can spin into making it a positive development.

Isaac Wright: Yeah, well, in a way again, being very far on the other end of the agenda of some people thinking the market's going to be at 30 and 40,000 and the S&P is going to be at 5,000 in a two year period. In some respects, I give a little bit more credence to the permabull because for the most part, historically speaking, you've had longer bull runs than bear market runs. So, at least they have proportionally a greater opportunity to be right, at least historically speaking.

Isaac Wright: So, but again, I think you always have to address the challenges that the economy is facing and allow people to make their own decisions. When it comes to the permabear or permabulls, either one, it's like they're telling you what to do. And that's the thing that I always find very interesting. "Hey, this is exactly how we forecast things are going to be, this is what you need to do."

Isaac Wright: I think in a way, I think if you're going to plan correctly, you take into consideration the pros and cons of any ultimate strategy that's going to lead you to your retirement. Again, we do a risk analysis that really gets down to the brass tacks of maybe how much money you would be willing to lose before you start having what I'd say your uncle point of making decisions that could be emotionally based versus financially based. We have a great process here to help alleviate, and somebody personally that knows you. I think that's the biggest thing is, today people can jump on the media or anything, and just ascribe to somebody that's talking on whatever X, Y, Z platform.

Isaac Wright: So, just know that again, I've seen all this come and go. This has been 20 years for me in this industry helping people with retirement, insurance investments, financial planning, estate planning. Just trying to give you some insight, and somebody that's close to home to you. So if you're living in the Richmond area, if you're in Midlothian, Chesterfield, Mechanicsville, I mean, a great thing about Richmond is you're 30 minutes from one side of town to the other typically. Feel free to call, I'm happy to talk to you. (804) 777-9999. Just want to make sure you're in a good path for your retirement and your finances.

John Stillman: Again, (804) 777-9999. All right, now this one may not seem initially on its face, Isaac, like it's somebody who's crying wolf. But, when we talk about a product pusher, this is somebody who they're always saying the same thing. It doesn't matter what the current investment environment looks like, it doesn't matter what interest rates look like, it doesn't matter if you're young, you're old, you're retired, you're retiring soon, you're still 25 years from retirement. Hey, they have this great product that's just for you.

Isaac Wright: Well, man, I can go a lot of ways with this, but let me just say in the world of what you used to deal with 15, 20 years ago, this has been lessened to a great degree, because you have people that are truly holding themselves out as fiduciaries, as advisors, but you also have, unfortunately you still have the dinner seminars and a few other ways people are marketing today where they're basically pushing out an annuity or they're pushing out a particular strategy with insurance, or they're pushing out some type of portfolio strategy where again, sometimes it can be tied to a heavy compensation model.

Isaac Wright: Now, let me say all of what I just said very clearly that we have used insurance, we use annuities, we use life insurance, we use a lot of different asset classes here at our firm when the timing is right and what makes sense to do and disclosing the pros and cons. The concern I have is this, is somebody pushing you on a product all the time in one fashion or another related to wherever we're at in the market. I mean, really, if you think about it, that's not anything that's an advisor. That's not an advisor relationship. I mean, that's basically no different than knocking on your door to sell you a vacuum cleaner, in my opinion. They could care less really about whether or not you're planning correctly, it's just about how much they can pull from you to be able to put it into whatever X, Y, Z strategy that's out there.

John Stillman: So there you go, Isaac, great job as always. And just before we depart today, what would be your words of wisdom to somebody, let's talk specifically to the person out there who's just sort of fed up with the media and the way that all these messages get portrayed in the media and the clickbait world that we live in and the salacious headlines. Why is it different when somebody is talking to you?

Isaac Wright: I mean, listen, man, everybody's going to have their own outlay in terms of how they feel about things. But if somebody just wants to have a conversation with somebody that's going to get to know them, that's going to be there for them long-term, that's really our mantra. That's what we're going to be focused on for the families that we serve here. We built a new office, we're growing pretty substantially and we're scaling that very well in terms of being able to provide the service necessary for true financial planning.

Isaac Wright: So, not trying to oversell anybody, just know that if you've listened to the show for years, if you've listened to the podcasts, and again, this is going on 20 plus years here for myself, just encourage you to reach out. Give me a call, talk to me. If it makes sense we can move forward, if there's any topics that we can't help you with, I can maybe direct traffic on where to go. So, just being very genuine with you is the only thing that I can definitely say that good, bad or indifferent, I'll do. So feel free to call, (804) 777-9999. You can also text the word 'help' to that number. Happy to reach back out to you any time. And with that being said, John, I think that that covers it all.

John Stillman: Absolutely. So thanks for your wisdom, Isaac. We'll do it again very soon right here on Wright Money Tips. Have a great week.

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Advisory services offered through J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc.
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