Growing wealth requires us to eventually get to a stage where we stop telling ourselves stories, and let reason replace the urge to be afraid all the time.

Some folks refer to that state of mind as “Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty.”

And it usually means changing your financial dietary intake, which is as much of a choice as being afraid is.

In simplest terms, you can either continue to; listen to too much garbage on your TV, podcast, web feed, Twitter, Facebook et al, or tune into something that’s better for you.

But choosing the right stuff can be tricky. There are lots of things that have been created to make you think that the "news" or data you’re getting is somehow useful.

Let me show you what I mean.

Beware the following phrases:

  • "Sources tell us here at XXXXX..."

  • "I am being told by my sources in X..."

  • "We are hearing that..."

  • "It is being reported..."

I mean, seriously?

Are we supposed to be making oftentimes life-changing decisions or interpretations of reality based on that kind of crap?  

And most of the stuff that follows quotes like that is little more than personal opinion.

Think about it: Since when did something as brutally weak as an opinion like "I am being told by my sources..." ever mean that it must be true?  

We find ourselves listening to people who:

  • We do not know,

  • Regarding a subject that themselves barely know anything about.

(There’s a good reason why news anchors wear ear pieces, folks.)

And it makes you wonder how far "social media" has carried us away from thinking for ourselves and being confident in the future.  

Hey, remember when messaging involved a pink sheet of paper that you found on your desk when you got back to your office entitled "Who Called While You Were Out"?

Today, a finely-tuned earpiece blocks out noise, picks up only your voice and connects to a machine which has existed for just 10 years, and is run by apps that are just 5 years old which carry more technology than every spacecraft that carried men to the moon.

And you can connect to anything, anywhere at any time.  

Every hurdle, every problem, every catastrophe that’s happened before has somehow been overcome.

It’s not always been pretty, but we’ve overcome nonetheless.

So why are we always afraid of the future?

We can be confident that what brought us to where we are now will continue to move us forward, but there will be a new speed, a new altitude, a new mode of travel, and a new wave of kids that are so damn smart, but they don't even know it yet.

Collectively, you put that many really sharp humans into this thing we call an "economy" and you better just strap in and hold on for dear life, because the ride will be mind-altering.

Fear is a Blinder

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The entire world as we know it is rolling through a pace of change that no one has ever lived through before.  And you can bet there will be huge setbacks along the way.

Do you think Bill Gates had any malfunctions in Windows before it launched?

Did Steve Jobs do everything correctly?

Do you think Fred Smith at FedEx ever had issues?

Did IBM’s Watson stop?

Why then do we - in the world of blessings and opportunity overflowing in our lives today - crumble like sandcastles in a wave coming ashore when markets sell-off for 2, 3, 6 or 12 months?

Has that investment approach ever been effective?

In the end it’s our choice because no one forces us to be afraid.

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Embrace change as a new opportunity.

While the pace will scare more people more quickly when we see periods like we just did in Q4, we need to expect and even count on many more of them in order to take advantage of the positions that others abandon.

And that’s the nitty gritty to help you decide if what you’re consuming is helping or hurting you.


Mike Williams
Founder and Managing Partner of Genesis Asset Management, New York