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3 Words We Should Say More Often
No, not I love you. (Although I can't argue against that.)

Three words I think we should say more often are I Don't Know

Say them, and be okay realizing that we really don't know everything. 

In life, we all crave certainty. We want to know the plan. The projections. The results. The path. We want to know because not knowing is scary. 

And not only do WE want to know, we want OTHERS to know for us. We ask economists for predictions. Doctors for cures. Financial advisors for market forecasts. Pastors for doctrine questions. Mentors for advice. 

And when we are the ones receiving these questions, it's super hard to answer "I don't know" when we truly don't. People want to be sold advice, or given certainty. But sometimes we can't truthfully give it. Clients, bosses, spouses, children - plenty of people ask us questions we can't answer at times with certainty.

We need to be okay with that. 

Sometimes the answer is "I don't know - but I'll find out and get back to you."
Other times the answer is "I don't know - and I don't think I can know." 

Even as I'm typing this out, a part of me worries: "Your clients are reading that you don't have all the answers. This is not a good business decision, Jeremy." 

But you know what - I don't have all the answers. And I personally need to be okay with that as well. And I think we all need that reminder every once in awhile. 
Additional Resources

1. Retirement Field Guide - When It's Smart to Pay Capital Gains Taxes (4 minute read)
No one likes to pay taxes - maybe especially capital gains taxes. But not selling a highly appreciated asset just for the sake of not paying the tax isn't a good reason to hold it. Ashby does a great job comparing this to a baseball team, up 3-1 at the top of the 9th inning in Game 7 of the World Series - asking the opposing team if they'd like to extent the game an additional few innings. While there certainly could be times - vastly different income-tax years, for example - to defer paying capital gains, those times are pretty seldom. Holding onto a stock just because we don't want to pay the taxes on it can lead to either three things: it goes down and we pay less taxes but lose money, it goes up even more and we pay even more taxes, or it stays flat and we just defer the taxes without realizing more wealth. 

2. Art of Manliness - 24 Better Questions to Ask Your Kids About How Their Day Went (4 minute read)
Read this article last week, and have been trying to put it to work with varying degrees of success with my own kids. The old "Hey, how was school?" "Good" routine gets old, and it's a hard conversation rut to get out of, despite our parental prying attempts. Instead, here's a list of better questions to ask, and some framework to ask them around. My favorites so far have been "Was anyone kind to you - or did you see someone else be kind?" and "Were you able to help someone today with a problem?" 

3. Klemton on Investing - The Virtuous Investor (5 minute read)
What do Mr. Spock, Warren Buffet, normal investors, and the stock market have in common? Mood swings (or lack of) according to this piece. Although this is written with value investors in mind, there are common threads of just good financial behavior overall. Fascinating. I especially loved this graphic below: 
Is there something holding you back from admitting more of things that you don't know? For me sometimes it's pride, or imposter syndrome, or even fear. But perhaps paradoxically, there's also an element of freedom that comes from admitting we don't know everything. 

I'd love to hear your feedback on it. Just hit reply and let me know.

Gratefully,
Jeremy
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Fident Financial, LLC (FFL) is a registered investment advisor offering services in the state of PA and in other jurisdictions where exempted.  Opinions expressed in this email are solely those of FFL, unless otherwise specifically cited.  Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources but no representations are made by FFL as to another parties' information accuracy or completeness.






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