Here’s to Your Health and Wealth

By Dr. J. David Ashby, CPA, CFP® professional


A friend of mine tells the story of her uncle going in for his annual checkup. The doctor examines him closely, runs a few tests and tells him, “Billy, if you don’t quit drinking, you’re gonna go blind!” To that, Uncle Billy calmly replied, “Well, Doc, to tell you the truth, I like what I been drinking better than what I been seeing!”

In a recent post, David Booth, co-founder of mutual fund company Dimensional, cites a best-selling book titled Outlive: The Science & Art of Longevity by Peter Attia. The book looks at the research on living longer as well as living healthier.

Investing and health are two critical areas of our life. But both areas can be confusing at times. Both subjects have a lot of data and advice, much of which often conflicts. Some of Attia’s main observations about health are:

    • There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
    • There are no quick fixes.
    • It’s better to prevent problems than find yourself in the position of having to fix them.

Booth says the parallels between health and investing are remarkably similar. For example,

    • There’s no one-size-fits-all investment solution. Investors are individuals with different goals and risk tolerances. The best plan is one the individual can stick with over time.
    • There are no quick fixes in investing. This is despite the constant barrage of get-rich-quick marketing schemes. Good investing, like good health, requires long-term discipline and commitment.
    • Investors can be proactive about how they approach investing. Recognize that uncertainty exists and accept it. Build smart portfolios and develop a plan that accounts for a wide range of outcomes.

If you’re interested in a healthy lifestyle, certain phrases tend to recur. Diet and exercise come to mind, for example. Those two areas seem to solve (or maybe prevent) a myriad of problems. In successful investing, the recurring phrases might be diversification and patience. For many of us, it’s a constant battle to exercise or eat healthily. Similarly, patience is a battle in investing. We’re bombarded with the latest hot stock tip or guru prediction. Staying the course with your investment plan takes discipline. Just as an exercise routine takes discipline. But in both cases, the results generally pay off well over time!

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