If you think about the infinite amount of information we have at our fingertips today, it’s seems overwhelming that we have to pick and choose what information really matters to our biggest decisions. In other words, what information is both reliable and relevant? How do we do this? Is there some method or system to test and validate the “stuff” that really matters?
In the context of financial planning and investment strategy, what really matters to our next important decision can vary widely depending on how we filter and process information, including identifying our influences and bias. Do we consider everything we need to? Do we exclude the information that doesn’t matter? Do we always consider our own inherent biases?
Looking in the mirror and being very honest with myself, the answer is usually no.
In my professional practice helping clients through the process of deciding some of life’s most important financial decisions, I’ve had to develop a systematic process to filter and test all of the raw “info-gredients” into well-refined, validated information we will use, together to make knowledgeable decisions. Over 20 years in this role, and from the dawn of the “information age”, I’ve had to evolve and adapt my skills to weed and sift through all the raw material.
This is relevant and you can relate to this when you see people making irrational decisions and these life mistakes transcend well beyond financial concerns. Immaterial factors can influence our decisions and usually weaken our chances of success, no matter how we measure it.
What is your process for refining information? Have you developed a disciplined process that you can strictly apply to almost any decision in your life?
Neither had I- until I did. The ability to extract usable knowledge from raw information is the most valuable tool I can use to help my clients.
D. Scott Bloom, CFP®