I had planned to write an impressive column about how the amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex sections of the brain work hard to mess up an investment portfolio; however, you will have to wait for that column.
Instead, I am going to win a gentleman’s bet with my dentist.
I chipped a tooth while on the road last week and was in the dentist’s chair getting it fixed when my dentist offhandedly said, “Are you going to write a column about chipping your tooth?”
It appears some people have figured out I often try to find basic day-to-day things that people understand and compare them to the investment process, which most people don’t understand very well. Everyone goes to the dentist, or at least should go, so he thought I should write about that. It also was a challenge to my ability to come up with a viable connection between a broken tooth and investing.
I wanted to say something to my dentist at the time, but there wasn’t much I could say that would be understood with three hands and two instruments taking up most of the room in my mouth. So, I will say it – or rather write it – now.
I was in Jackson when I broke my tooth and, although it didn’t hurt much, it was bothering the heck out of me. It was rough with a jagged edge to it. I immediately started looking around in my dopp kit for something to file it down and smooth it out. I had nothing.
By the time I got home the next day I was dead set on filing it down myself. When I asked my wife and children what I should use, they looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
“You can’t file down your own tooth!” they said.
I said, “Why not? it can’t be that hard.”
They said, “Only an idiot would file down their own tooth. You could ruin that tooth. You could do permanent damage to it. Let the professionals handle it. You pay them good money to do it right.”
So I did. In about a half-hour my dentist took my jagged, rough tooth and made it look and feel brand-new. When I told him what I had been thinking of doing to my tooth, he nicely said, “Yeah, you don’t really want to do that.”
He was right. Something as important as your teeth needs to be handled by professionals. I believe that your financial future is just as important. I know a lot of you want to file down your own teeth. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard. But making a mistake can be a significant event. It’s just not worth it to let amateurs handle your teeth or your money.
Investing your money is not a game. It’s serious business and it is something that needs expert advice.
In two weeks, we will take on the burning question of, “What is going on in my medial prefrontal cortex and why should I be concerned?”
Scott Reed is CEO of investment advisory firm Hardy Reed in Tupelo. Contact him at (662) 823-4722 or firstname.lastname@example.org