Here Is What We Don’t Need

First figure out what you don’t want to do.

According to a 1986 Harvard  commencement address from  Charlie Munger:

You can see the results of not learning from others’ mistakes by simply looking about you. How little originality there is in the common disasters of mankind -drunk driving deaths, reckless driving maimings, incurable venereal diseases, conversion of bright college students into brainwashed zombies as members of destructive cults, business failures through repetition of obvious mistakes made by predecessors, various forms of crowd folly, and so on. I recommend as a memory clue to finding the way to real trouble from heedless, unoriginal error the modern saying: “If at first you don’t succeed, well, so much for hang gliding.”

I was asked to write an article for the InvestmentNews on how to attract higher quality financial advisors into teacher’s 403(b) retirement space.

I thought of Charlie Munger and decided to begin by identifying what is not needed.

• Financial salespeople hanging out in the school cafeteria to solicit business, as happens currently;

• The placement of high-fee, tax-deferred annuities in already tax-deferred 403(b) retirement accounts. The “this is better than not saving at all” argument expired decades ago, when mutual funds became available in these plans; and

• Former students, teachers and the children of current administrators who work for investment companies and use their “contact” lists to solicit business from school employees. Often, these individuals know little about financial planning and are being used to steer assets into high-fee products.

This would be a good start.

You can read the entire article here.